BELLVILLE: A truly rich man is one whose children and grandchildren run into his arms when his hands are empty. To his family, Paul Williams was many things; provider, protector, encourager, compassionate, faithful, pa-paw, grandpa, dad, and husband. Paul was easy to love and could offer the most inviting hug imaginable.
On April 1, 2016, Paul L. Williams, of Bellville, passed away at home, in the town in which he was born, surrounded by the family that he loved. He was 87.
The son of Alex and Leeta (Poorman) Williams, Paul was born January 14, 1929 in Bellville and was graduated from Bellville High School.
At the Malabar Farm annual barn dance, he first met Ruth Streib. The couple was married a year and a half later on August 20, 1950. Together they raised their family of three children on a rural Bellville farm, sharing one life for over 63 years.
Hard working, Paul loved to work the land. He mostly farmed beef and grain. Paul also drove for Consolidated Freight Way and retired from Signal Trucking. He never sat still, and loved life, which in many ways meant remaining active and working. Even a few weeks ago Paul was outside cutting wood and riding his tractor!
He was a long-time member of Chapel Hill United Methodist Church where he previously served as Sunday School Superintendent. Recently Paul loved attending the Journey services on Wednesday evenings.
All the way back to their courting days, Paul and Ruth shared a love for dance. He was a founding member of the Johnny Appleseed Square Dancers, and started Buckeye Country Cloggers in the 1980's. To this day, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren carry on his family's legacy of clogging.
To say Paul enjoyed bluegrass music would be an understatement. To him, bluegrass was the only "real music" worth listening to. He loved to camp and travel. Their excursions led Paul and Ruth all over the continental United States and Alaska. Often saying, "Let's take the scenic route!" His family knew that to travel with Paul meant back roads, few stops, and an additional half days travel. To Paul, part of the vacation experience was getting to the destination.
Paul loved ice cream, especially making his signature homemade ice cream. Birthday parties and family get-togethers always included his delicious dessert.
Paul is survived by three children Les and Linda Williams, Mary and Bob Layfield, and Patricia Dion all of Bellville; six grandchildren Jamie and Matt Emerson, Kim and Greg Lifer, Brian and Shawna Dion, Tracie Williams, Donny and Jessica Fiant, and Belinda and Greg Fox; great grandchildren Brady, Allie, James, Annabelle, Luke, Grace, Henry Paul, Shad II, Emma, Mia, Liliann, Dalton, Dylan, and Devon. Also surviving are his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Joan Williams, Wilbur Streib, Darla Peck and Larry Streib, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents Paul was preceded in death by his beloved wife Ruth Williams who passed away May 4, 2014; and brother Robert Williams.
Friends may call Monday, April 4, 2016 from 4-8 pm in the Bellville Snyder Funeral Home. The funeral service giving glory to God for the life of Paul L. Williams will be held Tuesday, at 11 am in Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, 3716 Bellville North Road, Mansfield. The Rev. Laura White will officiate and burial will follow in Bellville Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Jefferson Township-Bellville Fire Department or Chapel Hill United Methodist Church.
To view Paul's tribute video or leave a message of condolence to his family please visit: SnyderFuneralHomes.com