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Linda (Willett) William

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Linda Willett Williams of Ocala died June 6, 2013 at Sylvia's House. She was a daughter, wife, mother, teacher, sister, and friend. Born in Pensacola 67 years ago, she attended elementary and high school in Holmes County, and married her sweetheart Jimmy Williams. They were married 47 years. A University of Florida College of Education graduate, Linda did her intern teaching at Wyomina Park Elementary, began her career at Oakcrest and then moved to Ocala Springs when it opened 26 years ago. Of her 35 years as a teacher, 34 were in Marion County. A member of Marion Education Association, she retired in 2003. Linda continued to follow her Gators as an Alumni Association member, a Gator Booster and a frequent spectator at football, basketball, and baseball games. When spring arrived, she was quick to begin her yard work. She loved trimming and maintaining her beautiful plants and shrubbery. Linda's happiest moments were those as a mother to Michael. She spent many hours at T-ball, little league, and Vanguard band activities. Her love of him extended to his family and two precious grandsons Matthew and Carter. Spending vacations in the Great Smoky Mountains was a favorite event. She had fond memories of times there as a little girl, as a young mother, and as a grandparent. Family time on Jonathan Creek was special to her. The car trips through the scenic mountains never ceased to excite her, and no matter the season or the number of previous trips, she loved the drive. She often saw former students around town, and she would recall fun classroom experiences with them. Over the years she received many cards and notes from now grown elementary students. Some she had taught 30 or more years ago. Dean Harding wrote to her, "I am so thankful my life was molded and formed by such a wonderful person, and I know you made a positive impact in the lives of thousands of other students. Also, I thank God that you were my teacher and helped make me the person that I am today." Others recalled how she made them feel special. She was the special one – warm, caring, loving. As her students often recited from Kipling's If "And so hold on when there is nothing in you except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'" Her strength through this difficult time has been an inspiration to all of us. She will be missed.
Survivors include her husband, James R. Williams; son, Michael Williams; parents, Walter and Florene Willett; two grandsons; a sister and a niece.
Services were held at First Baptist Church of Ocala where Linda was a long-time member Sunday, June 9, 2013 at 2 p.m. Donations in her name may be made to Hospice of Marion County or Florida Division.
Published in Washington County News and Holmes County Times-Advertiser on July 17, 2013
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