MR. ARTHUR LEON WILLIAMS
On October 15, 1907, Arthur Leon Williams was born to Sidney Williams and Lizzie (Blacknall) Williams. The oldest of four children, he had two sisters, Sarah (Ervin) Jones and Elizabeth (Joseph Blair) Wilson.
He also had one brother, Waymon Alvin (Mary Lee Southerland) Williams. The 100 years of his life were spent in Franklin County, mostly in the Rocky Ford Community. His parents and siblings have all preceded him in death.
During his teenage years, he confessed his faith in the Lord and joined Mitchell Chapel Baptist Church, where he served faithfully for more than 70 years.
His service included years of teaching the Sunday School, Superintendent of Sunday School, singing bass in the choir and as a Deacon and Secretary of the Deacon Board. During his last years, Mr. Williams moved to Louisburg and became a cherished member of the Nelson Chapel Baptist Church. He remained loyal to that church family until his death.
His extensive church work includes many years of service as President of County Conventions (S.S. and Usher), President of The State Usher Convention (25 years), and President of the Progressive National Usher Convention. Arthur Williams’ earliest school years were spent in the Rocky Ford community. After completing elementary school at Rocky Ford, he graduated from Henderson Institute. Mr. Williams’ further education was obtained from Kittrell College, where he was awarded an associate degree, and completed at Shaw University where he earned the B.A. Degree. He spent about 10 years teaching (Buffalo School) in Franklin County, but resigned and followed his heart...back to the farm. The last few years of his professional career were in the ‘70s when he took a position as Social Service Director for the Head Start Program. He enjoyed this position because it enabled him to assist families academically, economically and politically. (He did his best to increase the voter rolls in the county and state.)
Arthur Williams is recognized as the founder of the Henderson Institute Alumni Association, the Executive Board of the Franklin County Emancipation Celebration, and several Community Choirs. Zealous to bring progress to the community, he has participated and led many other “grass roots” political organizations and committees.
Mr. Williams and his wife (Myrtle Clements) were the parents of two daughters: Margaret (Archie) Hicks and Marian Janet (Homer) Burch.
They had two beloved granddaughters: Marguerita Hicks and Joyette Burch.
In March 2007, Arthur Williams was united in a second marriage to Bessie (Williams) Battle of Warren County. This union added six grandchildren, four sisters-in-law, and three brothers-in-law.
Joining the immediate family in mourning their loss are one sister-in-law (Mary Williams), many, many nieces and nephews and many, many friends. Mr. Williams was a very happy, grateful and optimistic person. He never complained about any circumstances of his life. He cherished his friendships and enjoyed fellowship with a very wide group of people. He loved to laugh and he loved to make others laugh. He often said, “If I don’t tell you a joke, call 911.”
Arthur Williams’ earthly life ended on November 14, 2008. He walked with God, “...and he was not for God took him” (Genesis 5:22). “Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords for His mercies endureth forever” (Psalm 136:3).
Eulogistic services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, November 22, 2008, at Nelson Chapel Baptist Church, 100 Leonard Farm Road, Louisburg.
Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. prior to the services.