TUSCALOOSA - Vergil Williams composed his obituary as the last of his many publications.
He was born in Crosby County Texas on 29 September 1935 and died on 6 March, 2020.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 45 years, Velma Minor Williams; his daughter, Colleen Jeffries Taylor (Bob); grandchildren, Lauren and Alex Taylor of Atlanta, Georgia; sister, Darlene Williams Youts of Waco, Texas, and nephews Lance and Mitch Youts of Texas. His son, Delwin Victor Williams preceded him in death in 2003.
Vergil was a member of the Baha'i Faith starting in the 1960's.
Vergil's identity was framed by his work record as is the case with many people. His first career was as a farmer in the Texas Panhandle between 1953 and 1960. He grew cotton and wheat irrigated by water pumped from the Ogalala formation because it was one the worst droughts in Texas history.
In 1954 he joined the Texas National Guard. Later he transferred to the Army Reserves where he continued to serve as a part-time soldier until 1966. His Army Reserve service was in one of the first Special Forces units in the Reserve Core (9th Special Forces Group). During those years he advanced in rank from Private to Captain.
In 1960 he joined the Amarillo Texas City Police Department. He served there as a uniformed Patrol Division officer for four years. For the next two years, having been promoted to Patrol Sergeant he was assigned to lead a new tactical unit with the mission of interrupting felony business burglaries and armed robberies in progress.
During his police work he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Economics at West Texas State University in 1966. He then left police work and moved to Carbondale, Ill. to pursue graduate work at Southern Illinois University in Economics and Criminal Justice. In 1968 he transferred to the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, to complete academic work earning him a Ph.D. in Economics and Finance in 1972. While completing his dissertation, the University of Alabama hired him and John Watkins, J.D. in 1971 to start a new academic degree program in Criminal Justice. He taught in that program until his retirement in 2001. During his time teaching Criminal Justice, he served a ten-year period as Head of the Department.
Also, his career included becoming a Licensed Polygraph Examiner and starting a business, Veritas, Inc., with colleagues Dr. Ray Sumrall and Dr. Bill Formby. He continued doing polygraph exams until a second retirement
A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, March 14, 2020, at 3 p.m. at Forest Lake United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. A graveside service at Tuscaloosa Memorial Park will precede the Celebration of Life service with Heritage Chapel Funeral Home & Cremations, a Dignity Memorial Provider, directing.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Hospice of West Alabama or the Humane Society of West Alabama.
Condolences may be offered at www.HeritageChapelTuscaloosa.com.