James "Jimmy" Williams died on December 20, 2012.
He was born in Coldwater, Ms., on March 27, 1926 to Rev. and Mrs. Charlie Williams, the sixth of 11 children. He attended school in Mississippi, until the family moved to Memphis, where he attended Booker T. Washington School. At the age of 19, he was inducted into the United States Army, trained in Fort Benning, Ga., and served in the Philippines.
Upon his honorable discharge, Jimmy went back to Memphis where he attended trade school while driving a taxi. At the completion of trade school, he was sent to Chattanooga to teach Body and Fender Repair to military veterans at the Boone-Higgins Trade School. Jimmy left Boone-Higgins in 1950, went to work at DuPont, leaving there to start Jimmy's Repair Shop at the Bonam's Shell Service Station on East Third Street. In 1957, Jimmy was hired to teach auto Body and Fender Repair at Howard High School, while continuing his thriving business. In 1968, he relocated Jimmy's Repair Shop to 203 Hooker Road in the Alton Park Community.
Jimmy went to work for Chattanooga Urban League Small Business Administration in 1972, returning to Jimmy's Repair Shop in 1975. Jimmy was appointed to the board of directors of the Electric Power Board and served as its first black chairman.
Jimmy also served in many civic capacities, including chairman of the 19th Ward voting precinct , several community boards and committees .
He married the former Ruth Keye of Toccoa, Ga., in 1951 and and is survived by her and six children, Gregory J.(Diana)Williams, Frances W. Hester, Emma A.Wikerson, Esterrell (Ron) Evans, Cornel A. (Phyllis) Williams, and James R. (Donna) Williams. He is further survived by nine grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Remaining siblings include Homer WIlliams, Wilma (Charles) Mabry, Memphis and Willie (Johnanna) Williams, Nashville. He also leaves in-laws, Gwen Williams, Memphis; Lydia Williams, Nashville; Leroy Wallace, Robbins, Il.; Beulah Jackson, Sadie (Howard) Barmore, Betty (Roosevelt) Arthur, Dora Swilling and Clyde Keye of Toccoa, Ga.
He was member of the Greater Tucker Baptist church for over 60 years serving as Sunday School teacher, deacon, trustee and member of the male chorus.
James "Jimmy" Williams leaves as his legacy a deep, abiding faith in Christ and commitment to family and community.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 26, at Greater Tucker Baptist Church.
The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday at the church.
Arrangements are by John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Ave., 622-9995.