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Van was born in Mansfield Van Williams Sr., son of Paul Williams and Maude Roy Williams, was born on Feb. 1, 1918. He departed this life Saturday, Aug. 5, 2006, in Delmar Gardens on the Green in Chesterfield, Mo., at the age of 88.
On Nov. 19, 1937 he was united in marriage to Ada Juanita Reed, and to this union three sons and three daughters were born.
He was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, Herman, Audrey, Howard and Amos; two sisters, Rose and Myrtle; and a step-grandson, Travis Query.
Van is survived by his wife, Juanita, of Ozark; three sons, Philip Williams and his wife, Leota, of Warsaw, Stephan Williams and his wife, Sherry, of Springfield, and Van Williams Jr. and his wife, Debra, of West Plains; three daughters, Carol Merritt and her husband, Homer, of Sparta, Donna Green and her husband, Bill, of Sikeston, and Trudy Williams, of Ballwin; 13 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Van was born in Mansfield and spent most of his childhood there. While working in Oklahoma, he met Juanita on Aug. 5, 1937. Van and Juanita then returned to Mansfield where they were united in marriage and shortly thereafter they started their family with their first two children, Philip and Carol, being born there. They then moved to Kansas where Donna, Stephan and Van Jr. were born. They later moved to Bradleyville where their youngest child, Trudy was born. Van was a brick mason by trade and a bi-vocational minister.
The family also lived in the Ava and Ozark communities, where Van would often preach in various churches.
“Old Willie” as he was referred to by his family and friends, enjoyed collecting antique dishes, and in his spare time enjoyed photography, writing and hunting with his sons and grandsons.
Van was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and was a caring neighbor and friend.
Funeral services were held at 1 p.m., Wednesday at Holman-Howe Funeral Home, Mansfield with the Rev. Van Williams Jr. officiating. Interment was in Mansfield Cemetery.