Joe Leroy Williams, 86, of Quincy, died Saturday (October 30, 2021) at Good Samaritan Home in Quincy. Joe was born August 9, 1935, in Pike County, IL, a son of Ross Eugene and Lois (Waters) Williams. After the death of his mother in 1940, Joe and his brother Keith were raised by their paternal grandparents, Russell and Alice Williams, while their younger sister, Nina Mae, was raised by their maternal grandparents, Alfred and Nina Waters. He married Barbara Higley on August 27, 1955, in the Clayton (IL) Christian Church; she preceded him in death (2019).
Joe grew up in Pike and later Adams County, Illinois, where he was a 1953 graduate of Maplewood High School in Camp Point. In 1955 he went to Chicago where he enrolled in Coyne Electronics School and also received instruction at Devry Electronics School. Returning to Adams County he operated Williams Television Service in Clayton and was also a deputy with the Adams County Sheriff's Department under Charles Proctor. In 1966 he gained employment with Illinois Bell Telephone Co. and later became a communications tech with AT&T after the breakup of the Bell Telephone system, retiring in 1991. After retirement, Joe worked for John Wood Community College as a communications facilitator in the Distant Learning Program.
As a young man, Joe enjoyed racing midget cars, competing in local racing circuits. These jalopies were so small that the drivers were wedged into cramped, one-man cockpits… yet for their diminutive size, each vehicle bore a powerful engine which sent the competitors tearing around the dirt tracks at breakneck speeds. Joe always displayed a fondness for classic automobiles, especially those of the 1950s, what he recalled as "my era". He was an avid NASCAR fan.
Joe was a Mason and a member of Faith Assembly of God Church in Quincy.
In addition to his wife, Joe was preceded in death by his brother, Keith Williams, and brothers-in-law, David Higley, Larry Gabel, and Roy Hicks. He is survived by a sister, Nina Mae (John) Seibel, of Clayton; daughters, Lois (Cleve) Barkley, of Loraine, Illinois, and Dixie (Randy) Merker, of Greenwood, Indiana; and son Monte (Stephanie) Williams of Williston, North Dakota; grandchildren Typhanie (Brad) Koenig, of Mendon, Illinois; Amanda (Ragan) Stotts, of Golden, Illinois; Brooke (Jared) Hartke, of Charlotte, North Carolina; Nicholas (Lauren) Merker of Greenwood, Indiana; Joe (Heather) Williams of Williston, North Dakota; Brandon Williams of Williston, North Dakota; and Allisa (Adam) Korth of Central Point, Oregon; three step-grandchildren; and sixteen great-grandchildren. He also leaves sisters-in-law: Bonnie Gabel of Quincy; Mary Hicks of Clayton, IL; Vicky (Marty) Fleer of Quincy, Dinah (Daniel) Yarian of Bondurant, Iowa, Barb Higley of Golden; brothers-in-law Jim (Ann) Higley of O’Fallon, Missouri; and Gary (Jackie) Higley of Clayton; and special friend Sara Huseman.
Arrangements by the Lummis Hamilton Funeral Home of Camp Point. Private graveside services were held on Monday, (November 1, 2021) at 10:00 a.m. at the Paloma Cemetery.