Much-loved owner of a top Market Harborough college dies aged 77

The college has paid an emotional tribute to Donald

Donald Williams.
Donald Williams.

The much-loved owner of a top Market Harborough international college has died at the age of 77

Donald Williams, the director of Brooke House College, passed away on Friday July 24.

He died just a day after celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary with his beloved wife Joan.

Donald and Joan bought Brooke House College as it was struggling financially in the 1967-68 academic year.

And the high-profile couple have gone on to turn it into a massive worldwide success over more than 50 years in Market Harborough.

The Leicester Road college, which has about 270 students, 40 teachers and over 100 staff altogether, has now paid an emotional tribute to Donald.

“Donald was Brooke House’s talisman and standard-bearer.

“He oversaw Brooke House’s development from its earliest beginnings to its current position as one of the UK’s leading independent international colleges. “Working at Brooke House was never a job for Donald – it was a vision, a passion, a focus and a vocation.

“The college’s success was simply a by-product of this vocation,” said Brooke House.

“Donald delighted in seeing children from all over the world come to the little corner of Leicestershire which he called home and fulfil their ambitions and realise their potential.

“He took great pleasure in seeing staff excel in their roles by supporting students in a boarding environment away from home.

“The college stands as a testimony to Donald’s determination to give children an opportunity and to celebrate achievement as well as attainment.

“Donald often spoke of the most important elements in raising children as offering time, language and love.”

Donald was proud of his former students’ achievements and kept in close touch with them all over the world, sharing their successes and advising on their difficulties.

“He was not only proud of the college he had brought in to being, but also determined to see it improve further still.

“The college would ask you all, friends and alumni, to assist in building upon Donald’s legacy in the months and years ahead.

“Donald continued to strive to make the college an even better place until just a few days before his death, such was his dream and determination,” said Brooke House.

“Donald’s favourite music group was Queen and in the words of Freddie Mercury, ‘The Show Must Go On’.

“We celebrate as a family and we share our losses as a family.”