James Lewis Williams died April 15, at his home surrounded by his loving family at the age of 84. He was a devoted family man, son, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather and brother. He is survived by his devoted wife of 63 years, Betty Williams; his loving children: Cindy Williams of Palatka, Fl., Mike Williams (Susan) of Madison, Fl., and Darlene Williams (Donna) of Apopka, Fl; grandchildren: Lauren Churchwell (Josh) of Lee, Fl. and Bruce Williams (Jenny) of Trinity, Fl.; great-grandchildren: Jacob, Jackson and Jonathon Churchwell; his sister, Ethelene Williams of Madison, Fl.; and sister-in-law, Ophelia Allen of Moultrie, Ga. Several nieces, nephews and cousins also survive him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Eldred Sessions Williams and Ethel Hicks Williams; infant son, James Lewis Williams, Jr.; sisters: Ruby Keene (Ruben) and Louise Hodnett (Johnny); brothers: Fred Williams (Irene), R.L. Williams (Marie), Leslie Williams (Alice) and Shelton Williams (Jessie).
James was a quiet and unassuming member of the ìGreatest Generationî and he appreciated the value of a dollar and worked hard to provide for his family. He started his working career as a stock boy at Van H. Priest Company. While in high school, he worked for Tri-County Electric and then J.B. Davis, Inc. After serving his country in the U.S. Army for two years, he returned to his beloved Madison County and continued to live here his entire life. He then went to work for National Container Corporation at Clyattville, Ga. It was sold many times and he retired as a Shift Supervisor after 39 years of service with Packing Corporation of America. In 1978 his family purchased Madison FRM and added The Clothing Gallery. In his spare time, he ran The Pecan House also owned by the family.
Farming has always been his way of relaxing and his hobby. After retiring he had more time to devote to his cows and hay farming. He was the first one in the county to have perennial peanuts. He also took a great interest in their yard and helping with the flowers, especially the beautiful roses. From his family room recliner, he loved to look out at the beautiful view of his cows and pastures. He did this until a few days ago. He told Betty she could move anything in the house, but not his recliner and she didn’t.
He and Betty had more time for each other and traveling after his retirement. One of the most enjoyable was going to Alaska to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. He was always helping Betty host the many, many gatherings at their home. He was known for his grilled hamburgers and smoked Boston butts and the beautiful bottle tress he made for friends, from Orlando to Tallahassee. He always had a beautiful smile and a sweet hug.
Until his illness, he had always been a faithful member of Lee United Methodist Church. He joined the church at the age of 12, serving in many different capacities. James and Betty raised their children there. James always took an interest in whatever his children and grandchildren were doing, be it basketball, softball, baseball, football, school and church programs, dance recitals, etc. He was also a member of the Madison County Shrine Club and Madison Masonic Lodge 11. The ìafternoonî coffee club became a great interest for him after retiring. He became reacquainted with some old friends and made many new friends.
Funeral services will be held at Lee United Methodist Church on Saturday, April 18, at 2 p.m., with Pastor Brian Sanderson and Pastor Richard Quackenbush officiating. Interment will follow in Stonewall Cemetery in Lee. The family will receive friends from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., on Friday, April 17, at Joe P. Burns Funeral Home of Madison.
We wish to thank the late Dr. Bibb, Lake Park Nursing Home, Dr. Gina Sapp and Big Bend Hospice for the fine care they gave him. Memorial contributions can be made to Big Bend Hospice Foundation, The Children’s Home or your favorite charity.
Rusty Newsome of Burns Funeral Home will help with arrangements. All arrangements are under the care of Joe P. Burns Funeral Home of Madison. You may send condolences to the family at www.joepburnsfuneralhomes.com.