James B. Williams M.D.
1919 - 2016
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James B. Williams, M.D. of Las Cruces passed away on November 23, 2016 in Las Cruces.

A private family service is planned for December 10.

James Williams was born in El Paso to Jasper B. and Clara Belle Williams on May 28, 1919. He attended school in El Paso, earned his B.S. from New Mexico A&M, 1947; his M.D. from Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha,1951; and his MS in Surgery, from Creighton Medical School, 1956. He married Willeen Brown on May 30, 1951 in Omaha.
He was a general surgeon. He and his brothers, Jasper and Charles, both physicians, established the Williams Clinic and served the Southside of Chicago for 30 years.
He served as chief of surgery at St. Bernard's Hospital, Chicago and as president of the Creighton University Surgical Society and the Cook County Physicians.
He joined the U.S. Air Corps in 1942 as a 1st Lieutenant. He was one of 101 Tuskegee Airmen officers who protested the whites-only officer's club facilities at Freeman Field, Indiana. After their initial arrest for refusing to agree to the segregated club, they were released. The protest is viewed by many as an important step toward the desegregation of the armed forces.

Dr. Williams was one of a contingent of African- American physicians who met with President John F. Kennedy to support passage of legislation that withheld federal funds from hospitals that practiced racial segregation and discrimination.
He was the doctor for Dr. Martin Luther King when he was in Chicago.
Dr. Williams attended the March on Washington.
He was one of 350 Tuskegee Airmen who were awarded the Congressional Gold medal in March, 2007.
In 2009, he and fellow Tuskegee Airmen were invited guests to the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the nation's first African -American president.
Dr. Williams was the recipient of numerous awards and a lifelong member of the N.A.A.C.P.
He was preceded in death by his brother Jasper.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Willeen, daughter, Brenda Payton Jones and son-in-law Steven Jones of Oakland CA, son, Dr. James B. Williams II and daughter-in-law Cheryl St. Michel, of Minneapolis MN, grandchildren Michelle, Renee and Michael Williams of Minneapolis, nieces, nephews, grand and great grand nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Clara Belle Williams scholarship fund at New Mexico State University or the N.A.A.C.P.

Arrangements are with La Paz – Graham's Funeral Home 555 West Amador Las Cruces NM 88001. To sign the local online guest book visit www.lapaz-grahams.com

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Nov. 30, 2016.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by LCsun-news.com
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4 entries
January 1, 2017
To the Williams Family--

Dr. Williams was a major inspiration to me in my career, both in high school and when I worked part-time for The Williams Clinic as a young doctor in Chicago. The Williams Family-- Dr. James, Dr. Jasper Sr., and Mrs. Williams were very warm and great hosts, with many words of wisdom for me.

I am eternally grateful for their exemplary inspiration and many good deeds.
-- Prentiss Taylor MD
Advocate Health Care
Prentiss Taylor MD
December 29, 2016
Uncle Jim, I've known you my entire life. Somehow we lost touch with each other for the last several years. You've taught me so many things about medicine and life. You taught me how to be respected and loved. Working with you in the Williams Clinic was one of the greatest experiences in my life. I will always love you! Aunt Willeen! May God continue to bless you!
Vicki Harper Gadson
December 18, 2016
I remember Williams Clinic very well. All the women in my family went there as teenagers. Thank you for establishing a clinic for us and all those who lived in the community. May your hearts be filled with wonderful memories as you celebrate a life of longevity and joyful times you had together. May God's loving kindness give you the strength and comfort you need to endure (Psalms 29:11). --ERJ
November 30, 2016
To the Williams' Family - My sincerest condolences in the passing of your husband, father and grandfather. I am blessed to have met Dr. Williams while I worked at NMSU from 1989 to 2014. I will treasure his stories about growing up in Las Cruces. I will remember his smile when we dedicated the Clara Belle Williams Hall on campus. Dr. Williams is a true champion and leader who opened the door for so many of our students for so many decades. Thank you for all you have done for our people. You will never be forgotten. God bless you always. Amen!
Christina Chavez Kelley
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