WILLIAMS, Billy, age 84, of Plant City, Florida, passed away on July 5, 2014 at Community Care. Mr. Williams was born in Plant City on Oct. 28, 1929 to Andrew Jackson Williams and Molly (Fulford). He married his sweetheart Mattie (Valentine) 65 years ago, she survives. Billy started working in the local phosphate mines, before he started peddling fruits and vegetables and turning to farming full time. Mr. Williams worked the land for 55 years, and was a pioneer of the strawberry industry as we know it today. He experienced lots of changes from irrigating one acre out of a ditch to simply pushing a button to cover 25 acres. Billy was a great mentor to many of the farming community, and would always stop to lend a hand or converse with his fellow farming friends. Mr. Williams helped a lot of different ways and provided for many charitable organizations. When it was his turn to be picked for the first pint of Strawberries, he was proud to donate those funds, sometimes to his Alma Mater Springhead Elementary School. In 1988 he was given the Hall of Fame award by the Florida Strawberry Growers Association. He will be deeply missed by many, including his wife Mattie, two sons, Billy Keith Williams (Laural), Darryl Williams (Gwen), two daughters, Susan Williams, Debbie Norris (Jerry), seven grandchildren, Sherrie Kirton, Jay Kirton, Amanda Brewer, Chris Williams, Sarah Avram, Kacy Richardson, Brittany Warner, and four great Grandchildren. Funeral Services will be Tuesday July 8, 2014 4:00 PM at Mt. Enon Primative Baptist Church. Visitation will be from 2 - 4 PM at the church. Burial will take place at Mt. Enon.
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Published in the Tampa Bay Times on July 7, 2014