Samuel Peler Williams Jr.

Published 11:31 am Friday, September 23, 2011

June 9, 1927—

Sept. 21, 2011

Samuel Peler Williams, Jr., 84, a resident of Columbia, Ala., died Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 21, 2011, in a Dothan hospital.

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Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, in the First Baptist Church of Columbia with Reverend Randall Johnson and Reverend Robert Strickland officiating. Graveside services, with military honors, will follow in the Columbia City Cemetery. Serving as active pallbearers will be Joe Owen, Anthony Howard, Billy Lanford, Tim Pitchford, Curtis Smith and Ben Armstrong. The grandsons will serve as honorary pallbearers. The family will receive friends from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the church sanctuary prior to the funeral.

Mr. Williams was born in Snowhill, Ala., in Wilcox County, but was reared in Eufaula, Ala. He was the son of the late Samuel Peler Williams Sr. and Cherry Williams. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served his country during World War II, later graduating from Eufaula High School. After the war, Mr. Williams enrolled in Troy State Teacher’s College, where he received a B.S. degree in education and lettered in football and baseball.

As a young man, Mr. Williams formerly played professional baseball in the Alabama-Florida League. In later years, he was initiated into the Delta Chi Social Fraternity and was named a big brother in the Alpha Delta Pi Social Sorority, while pursuing an advanced degree at Troy State University.

Mr. Williams retired from Ashford High School as a mathematics teacher and football coach. In earlier years, he taught and coached at Houston County High School in Columbia, Ala., Bainbridge High School in Bainbridge, Dorman High School in Spartanburg, S. C. and Early County High School in Blakely, Ga. Mr. Williams was a member of the First Baptist Church of Columbia, where he served as a deacon. He was also a member of the Columbia Lions Club and formerly served as a city councilman.

Mr. Williams was preceded in death by a sister, Lila Mae Lott; and five brothers, Wilson Williams, James Williams, Hugh Williams, Robert Williams and Jake Williams.

Survivors include his wife, Grace Beasley (Bebe) Williams of Columbia, Ala.; a daughter, Dianna Williams Upchurch and husband, Robert (Bob) Upchurch of Livingston, Ala.; a son, Joshua H. Williams and wife, Suzanne Studstill Williams, Nashville, Tenn.; five grandchildren, Robert Upchurch and wife, Annie, Sam Upchurch, John Upchurch, Sydney Foshee and Greeley Foshee; two great-grandchildren, Caroline Upchurch and William Upchurch; two sisters, Nan Norton of Chipley, Fla. and Bernice Storey of Eufaula, Ala.; and a brother-in-law, John P. Beasley and wife, Jean, of Columbia, Ala.

Flowers will be accepted or memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church of Columbia, P.O. Box 267, Columbia, AL 36319.

Holman-Headland Mortuary in Headland, Ala. is in charge of arrangements.