Paul Williams, 71, of Villas, N.J., who retired in 1989 as assistant fire chief at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, died of lung cancer Wednesday, April 30, at home.

Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Williams attended what is now West Catholic Preparatory High School but left to help support the family because his father died when he was very young, daughter Wendy Hueftle said.

Mr. Williams served a four-year enlistment as an Air Force firefighter, and while stationed at a Royal Air Force base near Sculthorpe in Norfolk, England, he met and married his British wife, Wendy.

After leaving the military in 1963, he began his 26-year career at the shipyard as a firefighter.

He was a fire captain from July 1982 to February 1983, then assistant fire chief until his retirement in July 1989.

Mr. Williams had a second career, his daughter said, as head custodian at the Lower Cape May Regional High School, from August 1996 until he retired in June 2008.

Mr. Williams was a former secretary-treasurer of a Philadelphia local of the International Association of Fire Fighters.

Among his other affiliations, he was a chaplain of the Disabled American Veterans chapter in Del Haven, Cape May County; a member of the American Legion Post in Wildwood; and a member of the Cape May County Emerald Society.

In addition to daughter Wendy, Mr. Williams is survived by daughters Sally Johnson, Carol McHugh, Anne Pfaff, Dawn Williams, Linda Williams, and Jessica Dennison; two brothers; two sisters; 10 grandchildren; and a great-grandson. He was predeceased by his wife; daughter Maryanne Williams; and brother Donald Williams.

Visitation was set for 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, May 5, at St. Raymond Church, 25 E. Hudson Ave., Villas, before an 11 a.m. Funeral Mass there, with interment in the Cape May County Veterans Cemetery.

Donations may be sent to www.woundedwarriorproject. org.

Condolences may be offered to the family at

610-313-8134 @WNaedele