#039;Mr. Parade#039; Joe Williams dies at 84

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 21, 2004

William Joseph

"Joe" Williams is being remembered as a good citizen, a kind man and a hard worker.

The local clergyman and community servant, died Friday at the age of 84.

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Williams was well known for his decades of work with the annual Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade. This year fellow parade committee members honored Williams for his years of service by naming him honorary grand marshal. It was the only post within the

parade he had not previously held, since he had been a past grand marshal, past parade commander and was instrumental in organizing local church involvement in the event.

"He was a kind and gentle man," committee member Frank McCown said.

"He worked tirelessly for years on behalf of the Memorial Day Parade.

"I will always remember that he would show up at these (parade committee) meetings and he was always positive. He would say positive things about the community and about the parade, even though we knew he wasn't feeling very well, and that he was suffering from a number of different ailments. He was a credit to our community and to our parade committee."

That sentiment was echoed by committee member Jim Adkins, who served with Williams for more than 20 years. "He was 'Mr. Parade,'" Adkins said. "The thing about Joe was that he was always the same, no matter what day it was or when you saw him. He treated everyone the same. And he stood up for what he believed."

Adkins said it was hard to pick one special memory of Williams, because he has so many, and said he knows others feel the same way.

"I heard a guy who worked for him once say Joe was the best boss he ever had," Adkins said. "He was a pleasant person to work with. It was an iron worker who said that. He was always positive, always there to help out in any way he could."

The Ironton native was also a U.S. Army veteran and was

an elder, former pastor and ordained minister with the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Community of Christ). He was active in the Lawrence County Historical Society and the Masonic Lodge.

Williams is survived by his wife, Julia, to whom he was married for more than 60 years. They had no children.

The funeral will be 11 a.m. Tuesday at Tracy Brammer Funeral Home.