David Williams
HAMPTON - David Williams passed away March 6, 2009.
He was born in Newport News, Va., on Nov. 21, 1950. He graduated from G.W. Carver High School in 1969. He was a U.S. Army veteran where he served in the Vietnam War. David was an incomparable writer and producer. He was a self taught accomplished musician. He worked with notable entertainers such as The Mighty Dells, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and Madonna. David was entered into the Guinness World Book of Records as the most prolific guitarist of all time.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Larry and Reatha Williams.
He is survived by four daughters, Kimberly and Michelle Perry of Ga., Davida and Dana Williams of New York; and one son, Skyler David Williams of Calif.; two brothers, Larry Williams ( Mary) of Hampton, Va., and Clarence Williams of Montgomery Village, Md. (Patricia); three sisters, Delores Major, Doris Carmichael both of Newport News, and Elaine Patterson of Hampton, Va. He leaves one special niece, Tracey Scott (John) of Hampton ,Va., and a host of other nieces and nephews.
Viewing will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday at Cooke Bros. Funeral Chapel, 1601-27th St., Newport News, VA 23607, (757) 380-0251. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 12, 2009, at Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Temple, 3100 Butternut Drive, Hampton, Va., with Rev. Silver of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, officiating. Interment will follow in Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, Suffolk, Va. Condolences may be sent to www.cookebros.com.
Family and friends are to assemble at 109 Parkdale Avenue, Hampton, by 10 a.m. Thursday. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at dailypress.com/guestbooks.

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Published by Daily Press from Mar. 10 to Mar. 11, 2009.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
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68 Entries
I am so sorry I didn't know about this. I met David on his first time out with the Dells in San Francisco California. I felt in my spirit that he would be famous one day. Sorry for your loss. Rest in heaven David.

Catherine Cartwright
August 26, 2020
"Don't Hold Back" is one of my favorite songs. His guitar work was and always will be spectacular. God bless the family.
Jeffrey LaValley
April 26, 2009
David, may God bless your soul. A gift only from God. I think you knew your talent came from a higher being. You told me so. Your fingers moved even when you didn't have the guitar strapped to you! You were an inspiration in my life and to so many young people in our family. You worked so hard and God rewarded you. My prayer is that all of the young people in our family and your children will be as determined and self motivated as you were. I know you're proud of that accomplishment as well as the time you invested in making your dream come true. I will always be proud of you and will continue to talk about you. Your homegoing celebration was very nice and there was a brother there who tore up the guitar with "Gone too soon" for you. And Charlie sang :A Change is Gonna Come" for you and all of our mothers who had gone on before you. I love you. Your Baby Cuz - Rabbit.
Evelyn Reed
March 22, 2009
Cynthia Simpkins(Newman)
March 20, 2009
To Larry and the Williams Family,

There are no words to express how I felt when I heard my mother searching for the words to me of David's home going. My immediate prayer was for the continuous beauty of the Williams Family love will never fade but will be an everlasting source of strength and peace during their loss.

There is no distance or lapse of time that can lessen my love and friendship for the Williams Family.

My thoughts reflect to when I first met the family. Our parents friendship began when you lived on 48th Street in Newsome Park and then I came along with the package. As I think back, it's ironic that Michael Jackson had an opportunity to witness David's exceptional musical and showmanship skills, because I remember Davis being a lot like Michael growing up. I use to look forward to the band's rehearsal on the week-ends because I could see a potential musical future in the making.

The ability to anticipate the loss of a love one is unpredictable, but to everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose.

David was always an inquisitive and adventurous spirit that took him to unknown territories and new heights. I am truly thankful to have had many, many beautiful moments with David and his family.

David's blessed soul has been carried by the angels to his new home to rest in heavenly peace.

I pray that God strenghten your family each day and brighten your tomorrow.
Corinne Boyd (Ms. Susie) White
March 19, 2009
Hello, this is the mother of David's son. I was looking at "little David" this morning and realized that I have the best gift David could have left, a little replica of himself. -Making people laugh is his priority, just like his Dad. He also unconsciously moves a hand or foot double-time when music plays. There is also an uncanny resemblance between him and his Dad's obituary picture.

David wanted a son and his son was intended to be a relationship that he could fully love without interference, David loved deeply. It was not long before David's all embracing hug won me over, I just wanted to take away his pain, and in our regression to what was "our safe place," became his son.

Two of my strongest memories are 1) how he embraced his daughter, Dana for probably an hour non-stop when she came to visit him, which was also one of our first dates. He loved her sooooo much. And I can never forget a story David told me about how he believed he killed Bozo the clown as a child. He shot a television screen when Bozo was on TV and one of his siblings told him that he killed Bozo, so he believed it until he was old enough to understand. That was the true David. David was precious and I loved him purely. I loved that laugh that followed the story when he admitted his naivety. He deeply wanted to trust unconditionally. Our connection was in that innocence. I find it ironic that Bozo the clown died recently. David barely outlived him, yet he was 33 years younger.
Nycoel Stein
March 18, 2009
Our condolences and heartfelt prayers go out to the Williams Family. David will always be in our memories.
The Holmes Family
March 17, 2009
Doris and the Williams Family: My Deepest Sympathy to the family.
Dorothy Jean Ruffin-Buie
March 17, 2009
May the Lord bless and keep you in your time of loss.David was a great friend and I will always remember how he was there for us when we lost Leon.I love all of you.
March 16, 2009
To the Williams Family:

My heartfelt condolences. David and I went from elementary to high school and graduation from GWC High in 1969. I remember David playing for me in talent shows and at the Jefferson Theater. He was a real down to earth guy. Even when he became famous, he didn't forget where he came from. I went to visit him at his hotel a few years ago when he was in DC touring with Madonna. We had a very nice visit. I recently saw him again at another classmate's homegoing in December. We were talking outside at the repass and taking pictures, while thinking of all the classmates who had gone on before. Then he played some songs at the repass. It seems so surreal that now he's gone, but I know he's playing beautiful music in heaven. Rest peacefully my dear friend. You will be greatly missed. Freddie
Fredrena Easter-Hilliard
March 15, 2009
To The Williams Family:

My sincerest condolences and prayers are with you during this time of bereavement. David and I were classmates and I remember him for his great talent and his hearty laughter.

May God bless, keep and strengthen each of you.
Jacqueline Wheeler (Class of '69)
March 13, 2009
My Condolences to the family, I know what it is like to loose a dear loved one. It's takes time to heal the hurt and pain. Know that they are in a better place. You will never forget them. You will continuously carry them in you heart and memory's, the times that you shared, the legacy that's what keep you going. Be Blessed Ms Deborah
Deborah Jones
March 13, 2009
Daddy, I want you to know that I have a smile that brightens every room. My mommy says it’s even bigger than yours. I am always making everybody laugh because I make jokes about everything. Just like you. The problem is that it makes my teachers mad.

Daddy I want you to know that I have a wonderful life. Mommy and I have so much fun, its ridiculous. You and God picked the perfect mommy for me. She tells me that I am the very best of you.

Every day I thank god for my mommy and my daddy, this is a habit now. I wish you knew you never had to worry. But I think you know that now, because I’ve been told that you are the lead guitar player in heaven.

I am happy that I could make one of your dreams come true. I will always love you.

Your only son,
Skyler David
March 12, 2009
Anyone who had the honor to share time and space with David knew how really special he was. During our days at Carver High, David was ahead of his time which was evidenced by his sense of style, his talent, his humility, his gentleness. We were so very proud of David, as we are now. During our last time together, we laughed so much. I will cherish the memory. May the love and peace of God keep you all.
Cookie Moss
March 12, 2009
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Deborah Albright-King
March 12, 2009
Daddy, I have a smile that brightens every room. My mommy says it's even bigger than yours. I am always making everybody laugh because I make jokes about everything. The problem is, it makes my teachers mad...just like you when you were little. Daddy, I want you to know I have a wonderful life. Mommy and I have so much fun. You picked the perfect mommy for me. I pray and thank God for you and Mommy every day. Praying for you is a habit now. You wouldn't believe the things God tells me. I know you very well. I am a lot like you. Daddy, you don't have to worry anymore. What you've given me is enough. I thank you for everything you have given me. I am happy that I could make one of your dreams come true, Love forever from your only son, Sky
Skyler David Williams
March 12, 2009
To The Williams Family:

I am deeply sorry to hear of David’s passing. I attended High School with David graduating in June 1969 and as I remember, he was a good person, and a gifted musician that later became one of the greatest guitarist who demonstrated his talent by playing with some of the biggest names in the music industry. I am certain he will be missed by family, friends and fans.

Our prayers are with you.
James Pettaway, Jr.
March 12, 2009
Im gonna miss you, Dave. It was always a treat when you played with our band. My memories will keep you with us forever. You were a great friend.
March 12, 2009
I will always remember David from growing up in Newsome Park and attending Carver High School. He always teased me in high school because I was two years younger and most of my friends were upper classmen's.

I always admired his character and loved his smile. He and my sister Diane were the best of friends in school.

When I lived in Inglewood,CA., I spoke with David on several occasions but was never able to see him because of his busy schedule.

I recently had an opportunity to see him at Kenneth Hawkins homegoing services and he was still the same David that I remembered with the great smile, loving spirit and sharp dresser.

Although our hearts are heavy, God afforded him the opportunity to spend his last days wtih family and friends in his hometown.

Finally, we were all graced with one of God's most gifted guitarist and for that, we should all be greatful.

His spirit has taken place in the band of Angels on High.

Love To The Family
Denise Vann
March 12, 2009
To the Williams family, we are sorry for loss and our prayers are with you all.
Cathy Hurt
March 12, 2009
To Norman,Delores,Doris, Laine, Clarence,

We, the Holland Children, want to express our deepest sympathy in the loss of your dear brother,David.
May the comfort from the Scriptures give you hope in the days ahead.

Always your friends,
Nancy Pearl, Willie B., Cookie and Larry Holland
March 11, 2009
Norman, Junie, Phil, Boobe and Pammypoo...I am sorry for the loss of your brother and uncle. Tonya (Brown) Gillard
March 11, 2009
im gonna miss your laugh
no more pressure
larry williams jr
March 11, 2009
Uncle Dave you were one of my major inspirations to what I do. You were the coolest person to hang out with. I loved you like my own uncle! You will be missed and never forgotten.
Shane Haag
March 11, 2009
I last saw David on Dec. 13, 2008 as he and his band played a musical tribute to my son Leon who passed on Dec.8, 2008. He was a good friend to Leon and perhaps they are reunited in friendship again. May god give you comfort and healing in this time of sorrow.
Pearline hawkins
March 11, 2009
I just want to send out my love and stregnth to the family, David will be greatly missed, you are all in my prayers.
paulina dearing
March 11, 2009
Rev. Johnny Cook
Johnny Cook
March 11, 2009
It is with great sorrow that I express my condolences to the Williams family on the
loss of David Williams. It is an honor to have known him. His music will not only live on in recordings but also in me. I would like to thank the Almighty for loaning him to us for a short time. May God bless and comfort the Williams family.
Larry Jarvis
Larry Jarvis
March 11, 2009
I graduated with David in 1969 from Carver High School. When I transferred from Hampton to the Newport News educational system he was very nice and we laughed a lot in our history class. He will be missed ! ! ! !
Yvonne Webster
March 11, 2009
we went back a long long ways; a talent show at newsome park elementary, you say then we could make it; we did, we have, yet we never forgot where we came from. Thank you for believing in me when no one else did until my late high school years. always. Class of '69.
March 11, 2009
I will never forget a day when David, Kenny Hunt and I did our first talent show together at Carver Elementary. You could see that he was going to be a very special talent.He and I lost contact after high school but this one memory will always be with me.
May God bless you and keep you strong.
James R. Johnson G.W.C. 1969
March 10, 2009
David will indeed be remembered as the kid from Newsome Park who made it big and could play the guitar like no other. But most of all, I think he will remembered best... as the man who came back home.. just as friendly as he was on stage at the Jefferson. It was a blessing to have known him. May peace and comfort be with you the family.
Jesse Wheeler
March 10, 2009
My deepest condolences, to Norman, Lois, Doris, Clarence, and Elaine, I can remember those Friday and Saturday's nights visisting, your home, David playing His first guitar, and the fellows out under the street lights, Humming, Our thoughts are with the whole family, may all of those fun memories comfort youall in this time of grief. 1200 block Gilbert and family.(Washington D.C.)
March 10, 2009
james (duck) johnsonj
March 10, 2009
Part IV- My love goes to his family and his children. He spoke with such reference about his brothers and sisters and his children and the women in his life and his friends. David always smiled when he recalled his humble beginnings and how he would sit on the porch and play guitar. He said he always paid attention to how he dressed. He liked being sharply dressed and well turned out no matter what. Sometimes David spoke of his Viet Nam experiences. I encouraged him to write those memories down for a movie because his recall was painted with words that became pictures in my mind. He said he never could get used to going to sleep in the dark after Viet Nam. Always slept with a TV on he said. David remembered the time he found his father passed away and how profoundly it affected him. To his family, try not to become bitter over what we see and know to be injustice in the industry. David and I talked about this often. Yes, he would sometimes express anger over it...but the truth is...his memories were so damn rich with vivid content that they never lost their thrill. David knew his contributions were forever solid and THAT could never be taken away. He leaves a legacy for his children in that. (continued below)
Angelia Evans
March 10, 2009
Part III- David, like many of us, carried his heavy stresses more often than not with quiet patience and a newfound commitment towards spiritual awareness. He said peace was beginning to take root in his heart. As a man, he wanted only to be able to provide for his family and make music that came from the soul. He always wrote music that was a cut above. One time I took some of his original songs to an exec at Warner Music...played it and was blown away by the exec response. The man got quiet...real quiet. I thought the man was going to cry or something...then he exploded with heartfelt words that resonated true feeling. The Warner exec said of ALL the music he had EVER listened to...this song of David's touched him like NO OTHER. David and I were so pleased...we thought... FINALLY. Then the horrible take over’s and buy outs at Warner shoved every project aside. We fell through the cracks. But David never gave up. He found new reserves. Wrote new songs. It gave him such profound pleasure to work with his daughter on music projects together. I'm sorry, but I can't help but feel robbed by his death. I am sure everyone that loved him feels this way. David had SO MUCH left that he wanted to accomplish. But God above had different plans. I must respect that and accept His will. At least we all - his family, his friends, his fans the world over - had the best of him for a while. David's music and memory will NEVER leave us. I miss him terribly. (continued below)
Angelia Evans
March 10, 2009
Family and fellow musician. Words cannot express the loss we feel, so soon and so suddenly. Not only does family and friends miss him, but the G. W. Carver High School family has lost another great man; the music world, a stellar entertainer who knew his business so well, many called upon him for his talent.

My heartfelt condolence is extended to all who share in this loss and may all find comfort (in knowing) others care and that David is at peace, now singing and playing among angels above.
Willie Smith
March 10, 2009
Family and fellow musician. Words cannot express the loss we feel, so soon and so suddenly. Not only does family and friends miss him, but the G. W. Carver High School family has lost another great man; the music world, a stellar entertainer who knew his business so well, many called upon him for his talent.

My heartfelt condolence is extended to all who share in this loss and may all find comfort (in knowing) others care and that David is at peace, and now sings and plays among angels.
Willie Smith
March 10, 2009
I only met David a couple of months ago in Newport-News.A very nice person with great stories.We talked about California a lot,since we both had lived there.He will be missed by many people all over the world.
Rest in Peace!
Jackie Brown
March 10, 2009
Our condolences to the Williams family, we are sadden by the losse of your love one. Know that you all are in our thoughts and prayers. Much love to Larry and Mary.
The Slades (Westbriar Village, Hampton VA.)
March 10, 2009
Delores and Williams family,
May God bless and bring comfort to your family in this time of sorrow.
Teresa Freeman
March 10, 2009
David I'll never forget the times we shared and how much you talked about your hometown and your guitar instructor Marvin Alston. That's all you ever mentioned. I'll miss you buddy!!
Thomas McAddams
March 10, 2009
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
March 10, 2009
To the Williams family,
I was saddened to hear about the loss of one of my most prominent classmate, and was looking forward to seeing him at our reunion this year. He was truly a wonderful person and a man to be honored.
May God give comfort and a quiet peace to the family.
Brenda Hucks
March 10, 2009
To Lois, Norman, Clarence, Doris and My girl, Elaine: My sympathy is with all of you I was with you when your parents passed and I will be with you on this another homegoing celebration of David's life. May God comfort each saddened heart and just remember, He makes no Mistakes. Love you all, Dorothy Mattocks. (Mutt)
March 10, 2009
I am deeply saddened at the loss of my dear friend David Williams. David and I worked together on many recordings for over thirty years. I know that David loved Jesus, and God will not forsake those that love Him. David has left a legacy of friendship in the music community here in Los Angeles and he will never be replaced. My love and prayers to David's family.
Bill Maxwell
March 10, 2009
My sincerest condolences to David's loved ones and dear family who he spoke of often.I remain deeply grateful to have been inspired by David in my life, as an artist. He did not live long enough to complete our project, but I will always treasure his personal encouragement to me, the great stories he told, and his beautiful voice. David was generous, and funny, charismatic, and brilliant. A genius. The notes he played are a part of recording history. May his legacy continue to shine bright.
Moira Cue
March 10, 2009
David had more passion, energy, and vitality for life than most younger than than half his age. His undeniable talent was fueled by a rare spirit of passion and love that filled his every breath, from his jokes, to his optimism and drive against all odds. We will forever have his music and his beautiful laughter. He was not just a client or producing partner to me, but a dear friend. Every day I spoke with David he would send my motivation and determination through the roof, for he was a man of true greatness and inspiration that knew no bounds. He is much loved and missed. We send our prayers to the family.

- Bruce Edwin, Talent Manager, Producer
Bruce Edwin
March 10, 2009
Although I've known you for just the past year, David, you will surely be missed. Just know this, that God needed a great guitarist to add to His orchestra in heaven. My condolences to the Williams family. God bless!
Merley Baldwin
March 10, 2009
March 10, 2009
I did not know David, but I know he had to be a very fine and talented person because he was your brother. I am deeply saddened because of your loss and may He who is worthy of all our Praise, comfort you.
Mike and Brenda Washington Graves
Brenda Graves
March 10, 2009
I am honored to have known David, even if only for a relatively short period of time, and deeply saddened by his passing. He was truly a remarkable man and I know he will be missed by many, many people who knew him and loved him. I will certainly never forget him, and the wonderful occasions he shared with me and my family in my home. We feel like we lost one of our own ...so suddenly and too soon.

My thoughts are with the Williams family now during this difficult time.
Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan
March 10, 2009
To Elaine and family: My prayers are with you during this difficult time. Your 1967 classmate.
Ann Burch Cary
March 10, 2009
To Larry and the Williams Family
I was saddened to hear of David's death. May the good times and memories you shared as a close family help the healing. Continue to trust in the Lord and He will keep you and your family in these difficult times. Remember, your friends are here for you and your family.
GWC Class of 60
Shirley Howerton-Barrow
March 10, 2009
God Loves You David Williams And So Do We

Had David Williams ruled the world there would have been enough music, variety, equality and love to banish conflicts.

He was a talented comet that flashed through the music universe lighting up the STARS.

Viet Nam made the boy a man, although scarred, the man never let go of the boy.

Four daughters and a son can always consider with pride the gigantic accomplishments of their father.

Love and pride in all members of his family allowed us all to share them,
even having never met most.

Life’s failures and mistakes he accepted as he set about mitigating them.

Never pretentious or greedy for position and fame, he was yet confident and proud of his talent and accomplishments.

David was our very unique and special friend. For a year and a month he enriched our lives and became our family’s newest member.

In death he steps from the shadows revealed as the musical genius that enriched over one hundred masterpieces that millions around the globe will long enjoy.

Written by
Genevieve Lane and
Jim Goetcheus,
Lieutenant Colonel
U.S. Army Retired
Jim Goetcheus
March 10, 2009
I can't believe it. I just saw him at Tribeca when Slapwater played there last week. Shelton told me what a great guitarist he was. I went home and looked him up on the internet. I was shocked to see him in the obituaries today.
My condolences to his friends and family.
If Shelton says you're great.....then you are great!! Rest in peace.
Michael Gardner
March 10, 2009
Kim and Michele
Our thoughts and prayers go out to you in the passing of your father. Even though we did not know him we do know that when you lose a loved one it is painful.Please know that Terry and I will be praying for you and give our best to Claudette, Ricky and Lionel.

With Love,
Steve and Terry Brown
Steven Brown
March 10, 2009
There are no words to express the shock and sorrow that I am feeling. Although you are gone David, the fund memories and good times we had growing up together in the twelve hundred block of 48th street will live forever until we meet again. Deepest sympathy to my extended family;( the Williams family). May God be with us all.
March 10, 2009
There is no words to express the shock and sorrow that I am feeling. Although you are gone David, the fund memories and good times we had growing up together in the twelve hundred block of 48th street will live forever until we meet again. Deepest sympathy to my extended family;( the Williams family). May God be with us all.
Eddie Russell
March 10, 2009
My brother, Arthur Martin, graduated with David and that's how I knew him. David was a very nice person. May God be with your family in this time of need and there after.
Denise Martin Hawkins
March 10, 2009
My prayers and condolences to the family of David "The Hook Maker", Williams. I am proud to have known him and be of the same school heritage and profession, and will remember him with the pride of all musicians who knew him by any measure for his abilities and contributions to a legacy for us all in more ways than one. I send my prayers to God, for the family, friends, and asssociates.
Thomas Corbin
March 10, 2009
I cannot express enough my deepest sympathy for you and your family. May you and your family find peace during this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you. David was a very talented man and wonderful person. He will be greatly missed.
Pamala Phillpott -Alston
March 10, 2009
David was one of the greatest if not the greatest guitaris in the business. My thoughts go back to the days when he was the lead guitaris for the Mighty Dells. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and worked with him. My condolences go out to the Williams family on there lost.
Ronnie Perry
March 10, 2009
Well Dave, I guess now you are flying like an eagle brother watching over all of us. We will miss you brother and I personally will never forget the night the fellas and us were at Buffalo Wild wings, that was one of the most hillarious nights of my life,,,,until we meet again fly brother fly ........
Sean Mohammed
March 10, 2009
I've been an admirer of Mr. Williams for some time now,my deepest sympathy to the family
Ken Holley
March 10, 2009
Whenever we would hear your guitar on the records David, you made us so proud to be from Newport News.
Mike Easter
March 10, 2009
I met him at the Afternoon of the Arts that was sponsored by the NN chapter of Delta Sigma Theta. He was a very very humble and kind man. Who took the time to jam for us all. My late mother and I truly enjoyed him. What a loss to Hampton Roads and the music community. My Husband had also had the privilage of knowing this very talented man. May God keep the family strong during this very very sorrowful time.
vickie williams_cullins
March 10, 2009
Larry and the williams fami;y.
I am truly sorry for your loss.My prayers are with your family

Matthew Brown
March 10, 2009
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