TUSCALOOSA | Martha Louise Millar Williams, age 95, of Tuscaloosa, died April 9, 2014, in Montgomery. Graveside services will 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham, and a memorial service will be 2 p.m. Wednesday at Westervelt-Warner Chapel of the First Presbyterian Church in Tuscaloosa. A reception will follow the services at the church. Heritage Chapel Funeral Home & Cremations, a Dignity Memorial Provider, is in charge of arrangements.
Martha was preceded in death by her husband of 51 years, Augustus Gaines Williams, Jr. (Gus); her parents, William D. and Alma Bush Millar; sister, Ida Millar Kelley, and brothers, William and Donald Millar.
Survived by her brother, Edward A. Millar of Libertyville, Ill., and 17 nieces and nephews, including Ann Christy of Bethesda, MD; Haynes Kelley of Montgomery; Ford Williams of Tuscaloosa; Turner Williams and Cecile Hartley of Birmingham; 42 great and 9 great-great nieces and nephews.
Born in Fairfield, Ala., on July 20, 1918, Martha also lived in Woodward, Birmingham, and Holt growing up.
She received a B.S. in biology from the University of Alabama and then was a favorite biology teacher at County High in Northport. Some years later, as a librarian for the Tuscaloosa Public Library she established a local Library of Congress lending program for the blind, still in effect.
Married in 1942, Martha and Gus moved around during World War II before they returned to Tuscaloosa in 1949 where Gus, a pharmacist, established Williams Pharmacy.
Martha was a deacon and elder and she taught Sunday school at the First Presbyterian Church. She served on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts and as a counselor and business manager for Camp Cherry Austin. Active in the community, Martha served several terms as president of the Modern Culture Club, was a member of the DAR, the Qui Vive Study Club, Jr. Welfare (now Jr. League), the Estes Embroidery Circle, possibly the oldest club in Tuscaloosa, and the Masquers Club.
Martha and Gus had no children of their own but ran a lively household always filled with nieces, nephews, elderly parents, siblings, and friends. Always loving and caring, Martha served as caretaker as needed for her father-in-law, her parents, other family members, and close friends. She was notorious for perfect birthday and Christmas gifts for the original 22 nieces and nephews among other children.
Martha must be commended for her courage and generally positive outlook over the past 11 very trying years. An avid reader all her life, the sudden onset of blindness at age 84 was particularly cruel. Eight months later she was widowed. Increasing deafness and memory loss the past several years isolated her further. Always the extrovert, Martha's strong faith sustained her to the end.
Memorial gifts may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 900 Greensboro Ave., Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 or Girl Scouts of America, North Central Alabama Council, 2121 9th St., Tuscaloosa, AL 35401.
Condolences may be offered at www.heritagechapeltuscaloosa.com.