David Allen “Al” Williams, 75, of Senatobia, Mississippi, passed away on August 9, 2019, at his home surrounded by his family.
Al Williams was born in Bruce, MS, to John E. and Marietta Williams, Jr. on July 1, 1944. He grew up in Bruce and graduated from Bruce High School in 1962. Al had many jobs throughout his life including working as a short order cook and a seamstress in a blue jean factory during his teenage years.
He met Sandra Veazey while they both attended Northwest Mississippi Community College and often pointed out to his children the steps of the Administration Building where he first saw his “sweet darling.” They both attended The University of Mississippi and married in June of 1966, at the First Baptist Church in Coldwater, MS. After their marriage, Al and Sandra moved to Jackson where he was a salesman at JC Penney. He was later employed by DAP as a salesman, and the family moved to Birmingham with their first two children, Allison and Stacy. While working for DAP, he was awarded the national Salesman of the Year.
They returned to Tate County in 1971, and Al went to work as a carpenter for the Carpenters Local Union and worked on the Memphis Airport and actually built the concrete steps at the rest area in DeSoto County on Interstate 55. By this time the family had expanded to include Chris and Kendall.
He started Al Williams Construction and built new homes as well as completing home renovations. A few years later, Jono was added to the family; and in 1978, Al founded Al Williams Bail Bonds, always the entrepreneur, looking for ways to keep the growing family fed. He developed the company into the largest bail bond company in the state of MS operating in all 82 counties at various times. During this time, he also grew his family with the addition of Brian, Josh, and Zack. He sat at the helm of the company for over 37 years before passing it on to his sons. In 2010, he was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Membership Award from the Mississippi Bail Bond Association.
Al served his community in many ways. He was a member of the National Guard and was deployed to the coast in the aftermath of hurricane Camille. He served many years on the Coldwater Volunteer Fire Department and the Tate County Rescue Squad where he drove the Tate County Ambulance in the Coldwater area on the weekends. He served as Chief of both of these organizations for several years. During his tenure as Chief of the Rescue Squad, Trade Days, an outdoor flea market held three times a year, was organized as a fund raiser for the Rescue Squad to buy lifesaving equipment. In later years, he and his family, from the oldest child to the youngest grandchild able to follow instructions, prepared and smoked 100 turkeys each Thanksgiving that were distributed to families in need in Tate County.
Al enjoyed working with wood and often said that he could do anything with a piece of wood that a beaver could. He was a master carpenter, master plumber, and a journeyman electrician. He taught his children how to read a tape measure, hold a hammer, operate power tools, and run electrical wiring and plumbing; mostly so he could make them climb the ladder or crawl under the house. He taught them to be self-sufficient and take care of themselves and others. He did this by dropping his “pearls of wisdom” that his children were instructed to gather and hold dear.
He enjoyed many activities with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He loved to fish, especially trolling or jigging for crappie. If a fishing trip resulted in a fish fry, it was even better. The Thanksgiving “Turkey Hunt” was another favorite activity. Although he did enjoy actual hunting with his sons, this turkey hunt involved all the daughters and grandchildren going shopping and bringing back at least three turkeys and loads of nuts and sugar for baking lots of goodies. Christmas time was always his favorite, and many a call or visit began with a chorus of “Happy Holidays!” When his children were little, they would help Al and Sandra bake and decorate gingerbread cookies to deliver in their red wagon to the neighbors. Later years have seen children, grandchildren, and cousins join in on the annual Christmas cookie baking day to prepare a large variety of treats that were given out to friends and neighbors.
Al is preceded in death by his parents John E. Williams, Jr. and Marietta Bullard Williams.
Al is survived by: his spouse of 53 years Sandra Veazey Williams, his children Allison Williams Burris (Tim), Stacy Williams Taylor, Christopher Allen Williams (Dallas), Kendall Williams Meeks (Bailey), Jonathan David Williams (Alison), Brian Veazey Williams (Sally), Joshua Barham Williams (Jaime), and Zackary Adam Williams (Laura), his brother John E. “Bud” Williams, III, his sister Beth Williams (Larry).
His grandchildren have many fond memories of time spent with their grandfather, and he will be greatly missed by them. They are: Laura Burris, Seth Burris, Mary Kathryn Taylor, Alexandra Taylor, Charlie Taylor, Emilee Taylor, Austin Rice, Baylee Williams, Bullard Williams, Claire Meeks, Meredith Meeks, Laine Williams, Dylan Williams, Veazey Williams, Oliver Williams, and Silas Williams.
Funeral services arranged by Pate-Jones Funeral Home were held August 12, 2019, at First Baptist Church of Senatobia with Reverend Chris Williams and Reverend Bob Maddux officiating. Burial followed at Brooks Chapel Cemetery with Reverend Bob Maddux and Reverend Brooks Ward officiating. According to his wishes, his sons served as pallbearers because as he noted, he carried them for many years…they could carry him his last time. Pallbearers included his sons Chris, Jono, Brian, Josh, and Zack Williams, his son-in-law Tim Burris, and grandsons Seth Burris and Charlie Taylor.
The family requests that memorials be sent to the Healing Hearts Child Advocacy Center, 5627 Getwell Road B3, Southaven, MS 38672. Healing Hearts provides services to victims of child abuse in Tate and DeSoto County.
The Williams Family wishes to extend our sincere appreciation to all of those who cared for him. AseraCare Hospice provided exceptional care, and he especially loved his daily visits by Marilyn and Tamika. They brought a smile to his face every time they visited. The Senatobia Fire and Rescue came to his aid many times and always treated him with love and respect. We would also like to thank all of those who visited, sent flowers, brought food, called or sent messages, and kept us in their prayers.
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