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Joe Williams,the Post-Dispatch movie critic for the past 15 years, died in one-vehicle accident in Jefferson County on Sunday (July 26, 2015). He was 56. Mr. Williams started at the Post-Dispatch in 1997 as a feature writer for the "Get Out" entertainment section. He became the movie critic in 2000. He was a regular guest every Friday on KTRS (550 AM) and made weekly appearances on KMOV (Channel 4) from 2003 to 2006. Jody Mitori, assistant managing editor for features, said Mr. Williams was more than simply dedicated to movies. "He loved to watch them, talk about them and share his opinions about them," Mitori said. "He was a gifted writer with a sharp wit and a generous spirit." But movies were just one passion embraced by the west St. Louis County native. Other hobbies over the years included attending Burning Man gatherings; reading T.C. Boyle novels; listening to Who albums and Cardinals baseball games; editing a punk rock magazine, Jet Lag, in the early 1980s; and most of all, going to drive-in movies. His mother, Marie Williams of Manchester, said her son was on his way to the Starlite Drive-In in Cadet, Mo., when the accident occurred. Joseph L. Williams made his debut on Nov. 9, 1958, the oldest of eight children born to Wallace and Marie Williams. Along with his mother, Mr. Williams is survived by his wife, Kathryn Welch of Brentwood; two brothers, Peter Williams and Christopher Williams, both of China; and four sisters, Laura Williams and Kelly Harper, both of Manchester, Anne Kipper of St. Ann and Gail Williams of Eureka. A brother, Paul Williams, preceded him in death. Friends and family are invited to a visitation from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., to the Kutis Funeral Home South County, 5255 Lemay Ferry Road, to share stories and memories. Mr. Williams graduated in 1976 from Parkway West High School and is a member of the school's Hall of Fame. He earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1982 from the University of Southern California, where Boyle was his writing coach and mentor. He made his way back to his home state and to Mizzou's journalism school, where he earned his master's degree. Mr. Williams enthusiastically embraced conspiracy theories, especially those surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Mr. Williams even wrote a book about the subject, entitled "The Grassy Knoll Report." Mr. Williams wrote two other books: "Hollywood Myths," about Tinseltown scandals; and "Entertainment on the Net," a 1995 book listing movie-review websites.
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