Earl Vinson Williams, age 95, of LaFayette, Georgia, passed away on Thursday, September 6, 2018.
Mr. Williams was born the son of Warner Vinson Williams and Verna Lee (Wright) Williams in Roanoke, Al. on June 11, 1923. He spent his boyhood years on the family farm.
Mr. Williams served our country honorably in World War II. He was inducted into the service in June of 1944. He became a Private First Class in the US Army, Co D, 334th Infantry Regiment, also known as “The Rail-splitters”. Private Williams was a heavy machine gunner. His unit saw action in Europe from late 1944 through 1945, most famously in the Ardennes during what is now known as “The Battle of the Bulge”.
His military honors include World War II Victory medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal with three Bronze Stars. He also earned the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB) and Good Conduct Medal. He earned master marksman badges for both rifle and pistol.
Mr. Williams rarely spoke of his war experiences, save on occasion about how cold it was in the Ardennes and the artillery fire that killed a fellow soldier on his first day in theater.
After his separation from service in 1946, Mr. Williams worked in a number of Georgia’s textile mills: first at Calloway Mills in LaGrange, Ga., and then he moved to LaFayette to work for Barwick Mills. He lived in the LaFayette community from 1965 until 2017. In 1980 he went to work for Mount Vernon Mills in Trion, Ga. and remained there until his retirement in 2008 at the age of 85.
Mr. Williams is survived by his sister, Jewel Kennedy; granddaughters, Donna Sue Jacobs and April Jacobs Howell; son-in-law, Thomas Keith Howell; and his great-granddaughter, Isabella Grace Howell; and special family friends, Melody Becker and Angie Watkins.
He is preceded in death by his aforementioned parents, his wife, Roxie Dye Williams; his daughter, Peggy Lee Williams Jacobs; and son-in-law, Donald Jefferson Jacobs.
“Pawpaw” Williams was well loved by his family and his caregivers at Riverwood Retirement home and Tapestry Hospice. Isabella “Baby” Howell was the light of his life in his later years.
A graveside service will be held for Mr. Williams at LaFayette Memory Gardens in LaFayette, with military honors, on Tuesday morning, Sept. 11, at 11 a.m.
Arrangements for Mr. Williams are being handled by Wallis-Wilbanks Funeral Home, LaFayette, Ga.