Ira Williams

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Ira R. "Zeke" Williams, 84

MELLOTT — Ira Ray "Zeke" Williams, 84, life long resident of Mellott, passed away at the Woodland Manor Nursing Center, Attica, on Saturday, June 23, 2012, at 4:50 a.m. following his failing health with Alzheimers.

Zeke was born in Mellott on October 20, 1927. He was the son of the late Marvin H. and Orpha Cleo (Simmons) Williams. He was a graduate of Richland High School and Indiana Central Business College. Zeke served as Postmaster to the Mellott Post Office from 1968 until his retirement in 1994.

Zeke was a licensed referee for the Indiana High School Athletic Association (I.H.S.A.A.) Since 1951. He called his first high school basketball sectional in 1955 and worked 18 sectional games. He called his first basketball regional in 1960 and worked 12 regional games. He called his first basketball semi-state in 1964 and worked seven semi-state games. He called his first basketball state final in 1969 and worked the 1969 and 1970 state basketball finals. In 1972, Zeke suffered a heart attack while working the 1972 sectional in Hammond and retired from his job as referee. In 1973, Zeke began serving as referee observer to both high school and the Purdue University women basketball program and referees for the Big Ten. In 2007 Zeke was honored to receive the 2007 Center Circle Officials Award and was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in New Castle. He had served for 27 years as a high school basketball, football and baseball referee. Besides his accomplishments as a basketball referee, Zeke had also called the Indiana High School State finals in baseball.

While living in Mellott, Zeke was a member of the Mellott Community Bible Church; member of the Volunteer Firemen Association; National League of Postmasters; National Association of Postmasters; and Richland Lodge 205 F. & A.M.

On October 20, 1947, Zeke married Doris M. Workinger in Rushville. She survives.

Zeke leaves behind his wife of 64 years; a son, Tony (Diane) Williams, of Avon; a daughter, Terri Minick, of Mellott; two grandchildren, Carla Clements Goetz and Tony Ray Williams; and two great-grandchildren, Jadee and Jalen Goetz.

Zeke's wish following his passing was to have his body donated to the Indiana University Anatomical Education Program. Following completion of this program, a memorial gravesite service will be held in the Rose Hill Cemetery, Hillsboro.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Mellott Community Bible Church. Condolences may be sent online to

Published in the Journal & Courier on June 24, 2012