Patricia Mae Williams, 73, of West Hartford CT, passed away January 13, 2021. She was born in Des Moines, Iowa on December 8, 1947 to the late James Williams and Daisey (Burkett) Williams. Ms. Williams leaves to cherish her memory, life partner of 23 years, Mary A Young; son, Jason Williams of Berkeley, CA; stepson, Eric Calloway of Enfield, CT; sisters, Barbara S. Williams and Sharon K. Brown of Des Moines, IA; grandsons, Rock Williams and Zen Williams of Oakland, CA; and an extremely large host of relatives, friends & community. She was predeceased by her brothers, Carl E. Williams, James E. Williams, Sr., Gerald R. Williams, and Alonzo Q. Williams, Sr. Patricia Williams' parents deeply believed that education and community involvement were the key to success for the African American Community, and they energetically stressed, shared, sacrifice and shared responsibility to their seven (7) children. Family unity, freedom rides, many marches and fiery oratory shaped the vision of Patricia Williams' generation and emphasized the responsibility to use one's talents in service to the community. Her involvement in 60's era civil rights encouraged her to fulfill the parental education mandate by enrolling at the University of Iowa, in 1966, and she completed her education in Urban and Regional Planning. She relocated from her native Iowa to Hartford, CT and began her career in 1973 as an Urban Planner for the Capitol Region Council of Governments, writing zoning and land use regulations for cities and towns in the area. Following a three-year period as the Town Planner in the Town of Glastonbury, in 1978 she become the Director of City Planning for the City of Hartford; the first woman and first minority in both positions. Her over twenty (20) years as Director of City Planning and subsequently as Deputy City Manager introduced her to many organizations across the city for which she would volunteer from that point up to her passing. Retiring from City service beginning in 2002, Ms. Williams began a short-lived respite from her hectic schedule. In early 2003 Ms. Williams was offered a new challenge and accepted the opportunity to re-build one of the City's public housing developments as Project Manager. Thus, working closely with the community, Ms. Williams led the relocation and redevelopment of the Dutch Point Colony housing development from 2003 through 2008. Following this fulfilling activity, Ms. Williams returned to retirement and continued her participation in community matters. Up until her passing, she participated on many levels for a multitude of organizations however focused her energies primarily in the Upper Albany neighborhood. She was very active with the Upper Albany Neighborhood Collaborative serving on the board from its inception and headed innumerable programs. Additionally, she was involved in Upper Albany Neighborhood Revitalization Zone, University of Hartford University Park Committee, Upper Albany Development, Inc., Hartford Housing Authority Westbrook Village Local Planning Committee, The Leadership Roundtable, and the Anti-Litter Campaign. Metropolitan Community Church of Hartford was where Ms. Williams and her life partner Mary fulfilled their spiritual journey as part of a loving and welcoming congregation. She was an active member of the choir, participated in many social activism causes, was a frequent scripture reader, attended bible study faithfully, and served as the Vice Moderator on the Board of Directors. The education of African American Youth was very important to Ms. Williams and she was involved in many youth programs ensuring that there were opportunities for them to learn, shine and evolve as she saw them as our future leaders. She enjoyed reading, keeping abreast on social events, sports, traveling and spending time with her grandchildren Rock and Zen, and her friends at Piggy's'. She communicated with her son and sisters often having long conversations on a myriad of topics that may have been a debate, an educational discussion or just a bit of fun resulting in laughter. No matter whom she met or exchanged conversation with, Ms. Williams represented a beacon of hope and a pure bright light. She projected a feeling of acceptance on everyone she encountered. To celebrate the life of such an extraordinary woman, a "Live Stream" only memorial service will take place Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 6:00 PM. There will be no in person observances as Ms. Williams would not have allowed anyone to sacrifice their wellbeing on her behalf. We will gather together in person (late spring/early summer 2021, once it is safe for everyone) to join together in community to celebrate her life, and be a witness to her legacy. Services are being managed by Henry L. Fuqua (a division of Howard K. Hill Funeral Services), Bloomfield, CT 06002. To access the live streaming platform the day of the memorial service (or after) and/or leave a message of comfort for the family of Patricia Williams family, please visit, www.hkhfuneralservices.com
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to Upper Albany Neighborhood Collaborative (UANC), earmarked Patricia Williams Scholarship Fund.