M. Eugene Williams, 87, died Tuesday, Feb. 18, at his home in Hattiesburg after an extended illness.
Mr. Williams, known as Gene by his friends, was a longtime employee of Mississippi Power Co., ending his career of 34 years as supervisor of sales and merchandising.
Mr. Williams was born in McGehee, Ark., and attended high school at Subiaco Academy for boys in Paris, Ark. He went on to attend college at the University of Mississippi, where he received a bachelorís degree in business in 1955. He was a longtime member of First Baptist Church of Hattiesburg, serving in numerous areas of the church, including chairman of deacons. For many years, he served as a youth leader, helping to coordinate numerous mission trips to Mexico, where he worked alongside his wife preparing meals and assisting with trip logistics.
In addition to his church work, Mr. Williams was involved in numerous civic activities. He was a member of the Lionís Club of Hattiesburg, serving as president. He was recognized in 1989 for his outstanding service to children as part of a bi-racial committee of the Hattiesburg public schools. He was involved with Hattiesburg High School athletics, serving as president of the Booster Club. A former athlete, he played football for the University of Mississippi during 1951 and 1952 and went on to play football for Arkansas A & M in 1953.
In recent years, Mr. Williams was a member of University Baptist Church and sang with the Visionaires, a group of senior adults worshipping and performing throughout south Mississippi.
Mr. Williams is survived by his wife of 67 years, the former Billie Jean Little. He was preceded in death by his parents, Madison Eugene Williams Sr. and Grace Warrington Williams. He is survived by his children, Julie Miller Williams of Hattiesburg; Robert Williams of Hattiesburg and his wife, Angela; and John David Williams of Hattiesburg. He is also survived by a grandson, David Miller of Hattiesburg, and his wife, Sarah, and their son, John Derek Miller; a grandson, Matt Williams, and his wife, Cristina, and their children, Fabiana and Bianca;
a granddaughter, Montana Williams, and her husband, Ryan Weddle. He is also survived by a brother, Charles Williams of Arkansas, as well as loving caregivers Gale Brown and Ann Jaynes.
A reception will be held in celebration of his life on Saturday, Feb. 29, from 10 a.m. to noon, at University Baptist Church, Hattiesburg.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Billie and Madison Williams Scholarship Endowment with donations payable to The University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655. (Please note the donation is in memory of Madison Eugene Williams.)