Joe Williams, 90, a devoted husband, father and grandfather and accomplished businessman, made his transition to be with the Lord on September 21, 2013, after a brief illness. He was born on October 25, 1922, to Green and Mary Ann Williams in Pumpkin, Texas. His spiritual journey started at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Pumpkin, Texas, and then continued at Olivet Missionary Baptist Church and Jordan Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Houston where he was an active member until his death.
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Joe served his country in the U.S. Army in World War II and the Korean War and reached the rank of Sergeant Major. He graduated from Texas Southern University in 1952.
In 1946, he was united in holy matrimony to Claretha Bradley. For 62 years, they were a loving and devoted couple. Claretha preceded him in death in 2009. The marriage was blessed with two children.
After college, he took a job with Dixie Foods as manager of the Lincoln Drive-Ins, a chain of drive-in restaurants that served the black community during a time when such businesses were segregated in Houston, and later became executive vice president of the company. He later purchased several of the Lincoln Drive -Ins. From 1967 to 1972, he was Executive Director of Crescent Foundation, Inc. He then worked as the Assistant Administrator of Health Care, Inc., and as Executive Director of Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA - Houston). He taught classes in small business at TSU, and served as vice president of Texas Standard Refinery. He also served as a Vice President and Board member of Riverside National Bank.
He was a proud member of the Alpha Eta Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and was a former member of the Board of Directors of YMCA.
He is survived by his daughters Sandra Kay Williams of Los Angeles and Angela Joanne Williams of Houston; granddaughter Katherine (Katie) Amanda Gorham of Chicago; sisters Callie Elmore and Marie Spiller of Houston; brother Eddie Williams of Houston; sisters-in-law Rosetta Williams of Houston and Novella Bradley of Washington, D.C., and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Wake services will be held Friday, September 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. Omega service for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., will be at 7:30 p.m. Funeral services will be Saturday, September 28, at 11 a.m. Both services will be held at Jordan Grove Missionary Baptist Church, 2603 Anita St., Houston. Rev. Danny Davis is officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to the Joe Williams Endowed Scholarship at Texas Southern University, Office of Development, 3100 Cleburne St., 206 Hannah Hall, Houston, TX 77004 or https://tsu.thankyou4caring.org/giving.
Final arrangements entrusted to McCoy & Harrison Funeral Home, Inc.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Sept. 27, 2013