ABERDEEN – The Rev. James Ronald “Ron” Williams, 77, died Wednesday, May 21, 2014, at Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo following a brief illness. He was born in Aberdeen on May 10, 1937, to Luther Williams Sr. and Ruby Sanders Williams.
At an early age, he moved to Okolona where he attended the public schools and graduated from Okolona High School. He married his sweetheart, Betty Buskirk Williams, on June 2, 1960. Ron attended Millsaps College, graduated from Mississippi State University with a B.A. degree in history, and later attended Emory University in Atlanta where he received his formal education to enter the ministry. For 41 years, he was a minister in the North Mississippi Conference of United Methodist Church. His first circuit was in Pontotoc County where he pastored nine different churches. At his retirement, he had spent six years as pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Columbus. He attended First United Methodist Church in Aberdeen where he and Betty made their retirement home.
The Rev. Williams served several years in the U.S. Army as a chaplain retiring with medical disability and the rank of captain. He also served in the Mississippi National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves for more than 15 years.
He loved his family especially his grandchildren who affectionately called him Pop. Into growing things, the Rev. Williams was an avid outdoorsman and fisherman. He had an insatiable appetite for good literature and was studious in conversation and thought. He honored God with his many years’ service in the clergy and was a compassionate advocate for all God’s children.
A service of death and resurrection will be at 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 23, 2014, at First United Methodist Church in Aberdeen. His son and the present church pastor, the Rev. Keith Williams will officiate with the Rev. Don Bishop. Private burial is in Lee Memorial Park. Visitation was Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. until service time, all at First UMC, Aberdeen. Holland Funeral Directors is entrusted with arrangements.
Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Betty Buskirk Williams of Aberdeen; two sons, Jeff Williams and wife, Courtney of Nashville and the Rev. Keith Williams and wife, Beverly of Aberdeen; his daughter, Beth Williams Russell and husband, Bob of Myrtle; his grandchildren, Amanda Burch (Jacob) of Pontotoc, Chelsea Williams of Pontotoc, Caden Williams and Reese Williams of Nashville; one great-grandchild, Sydney Grace Williams; three step grandchildren; and four step great-grandchildren; his sisters, Betty Sue Carlisle (Buck, deceased.) and Valerie Reifers (Tommy) of Greenwood; numerous nieces and nephews; and a host of friends throughout Mississippi and the Mid-South.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Laverne McCary; and a brother, Luther Marion “Son” Williams.
Pallbearers were Nolan Bowen, Jeff Williams, Chip Trulove, Matt Bishop, Jacob Burch, and Bob Russell. Honorary pallbearers were the ministers and associates of the Mississippi Conference – the United Methodist Church.
Memorials may be made to the Aberdeen First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 93, Aberdeen, MS. 39730 or to Sanctuary Hospice House, P.O. Box 2177, Tupelo, MS. 38802.
Condolences may be e mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. –