John Willard Williams, 77, of Ocean Isle Beach, died at his home, Monday, July 14, 2014. Born in Miami on Sept. 17, 1936, John Williams was the youngest of three children born to George and Sudie Williams of Miami. Although born in Miami, his formative childhood years were spent in Greensboro. There with his older brother and sister, John spent hours in the outdoors, hunting, fishing and even raising parakeets.
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John was a good student and soon found that his inquiring mind was with chemicals, and how they impacted our daily lives He took that agile mind with him to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he acquired his degree in chemistry. However, chemistry of another sort kept tugging at his heart by way of a lovely brunette, one year his junior, who he met while still in high school, Frances Thompson. John and Frances saw each other as frequently as possible while studying at separate universities. The young couple, eager to be married, put their studies first.
Only months after John graduated - and Frances with one year yet to complete - they eloped to begin their new life adventure together. John found work in Michigan as a chemist and the young couple moved. Here Frances finished her remaining year and began teaching. After being married several years, the couple welcomed their first child, Carole Anne and less than two years later, welcomed a second daughter, Lesa Ivey.
The new little family then moved to Cleveland, where John spent the next 13 years working for PPG Industries as a research chemist. While in Cleveland he returned to school to achieve his master's degree at Case Western Reserve. Then, in 1972 an opportunity afforded itself for John and Frances to move back to their beloved North Carolina. Moving the young family they embarked on a new career together far from chemistry and teaching: real estate development.
Life was good. The girls were now married, and John and Frances had found a great church home where they both taught Sunday School and John sang in the choir. Their lives became richer with the arrival of grandchildren and, as the years went by, the added blessings of great-grandchildren.
To say John loved his family would never convey how truly devoted he was. He involved himself in all aspects of each family members' lives. He was there for first steps, first words, first dates and the weddings that followed. He was always there with encouraging, caring, wise words and was always ready with a hug.
John and Frances spent 57 years together enjoying all the wonders and gifts of family living. He will be remembered differently by each family member, friend and business associate because he took the time to get to know each person that entered his life. Time, the greatest gift you can give of yourself, he gave freely. This gift of giving time was rooted in a deeply devoted heart and the time he spent with each person will not fade with time, rather it will enhance the memories he so lovingly and graciously gave to us all.
Survivors include his wife, Frances Thompson Williams; her sister, Harriet "Tweet" Thompson; two daughters, Carole Long (Wayne) of Calabash and Lesa Kolcun (Michael) of Ocean Isle Beach; a brother, Bill Williams (Anne) of Greensboro; a sister, Carole Mezzapelli (Jospeh) of Greensboro; grandchildren, Sarah Stevens (Shawn), John Wade Abshire, Emily Long, Alexandra Kolcun and Michael Paul Kolcun II; and great-grandchildren, Hannah Clemmons, Austin Stevens, McKenzie Hill, Alyssa Stevens, Maddie Hill, Justin Stevens, Nathan Stevens and Layla Hardee.
Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 19, at Shallotte Presbyterian Church. The family will also be receiving friends following the service at the church. Interment will follow in Brunswick Memorial Gardens. Viewing for Mr. Williams will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, July 18, at Brunswick Funeral Service in Shallotte.
Private online condolences may be sent to www.brunswickfuneralservice.com.
Brunswick Funeral Service, Shallotte.
Brunswick Funeral Service and Crematory
5229 Ocean Hwy W Shallotte, NC 28459
Published in The Brunswick Beacon from July 17 to July 23, 2014