Eulogy at Funeral by son Michael


Always take roll when you get in the car. 


This is one of the many things my father taught me over the years.   This was a lesson taught not only with words but also with examples.  For those of you who followed the Williams’ Family Christmas letter, I was the one who, as a child, was left at the park, in Tennessee and at Disneyland.  But he always made sure I made it home in the end, … and the Disneyland incident may have been partially my fault.


Dad would have told everyone here not to cry for him.  Not to waste time on the funeral but to have a party instead.  Celebrate his life and have a drink for him.  Make sure we break out the last bottle of Christian Brothers brandy made by the monks before they sold the goose.  The one signed by Brother Timothy, and have a drink with Doc and the guys.  He definitely would not have been on board with the Rosary held yesterday at 7:00 pm.  Everyone knows that seven o’clock on a weeknight is for Jeopardy.  But I know he would want to see the impact he had on our lives.  To know our lives were better when he was with us.


Being from the South, he also taught us that times like this should be met with comfort foods.  When tragedy struck a friend or neighbor we would be making fried chicken, biscuits and of course, banana pudding.  A simple gesture to let them know that you care, you understand their pain and maybe some pudding could help take it away for a moment.


If you paid attention you would find small gestures showing how much he cared every day.  He would walk though a store and see an item he felt would make your life a little better and he would pick it just because he was thinking of you.  Tools, baseball cards, postage stamps and calling cards would find their way into you hands the next time you saw him.


You would go to visit and he would shuffle through the treasures he had found recently that were set out on his coffee table and hand you an assortment of items.  This table was originally used for him to work on his coin collection but he had come to refer to it as the MAGNET.  He referred to it that way because everything seemed to collect on it.  It would gather items from everyone who passed through the house. 


Dad was our magnet.  He drew us to himself and made reasons for us to get together as a family.   Once again, just simple gestures to get family and friends together.  He would fly home from South Carolina and call to say let’s meet at Silky’s when my plane arrives.  Buffalo wings, nacho’s and eight tables moved together as one meant a good time was starting.  If you were with him around eleven you would hear him say “let’s go get some lunch, you gotta eat lunch!”  I would always gave the reach for my wallet but I knew he would never let me pay.  Calling his son’s to tell us “boy’s why don’t you stop by tonight, your sister has a date and I think you should meet the fella”.


In winter he would dawn his Santa cap and a red shirt of some type.  He would walk mile square park and through the grocery stores to the awe’s of all the children.  They all whisper to each other “he’s here”.  He would give them a knowing nod and a point of the finger to confirm their suspicions that it was indeed the real Santa out for a stroll.  He always had a pocket full of candy canes and he would hand them out and tell the kids “Listen to your parents, because I’m coming soon”.


I miss all of this and so much more.  He has changed my world so much that I see him everyday in the things I do and the actions of others.

  • When someone takes time to make sure all the kids have money for the ice cream man, I see my father.
  • When I child asks to play outside and you tell them “take a walky talky with you.”  I see him.
  • When your making strawberry jam,…. Especially on mothers day. 
  • When you wrap chili dogs in foil to take them to the baseball game, because that’s when they are best. 
  • When someone rings a bell to call all the children home. 
  • When the weight of a Christmas letter requires additional postage. 
  • When my family gathers together I will definitely see my father.


I will not wake from this nightmare and I struggle to find sense in what has happened.  The tragedy that unfolded over the last few months did not cause me to question my faith but it did cause me to have some very candid discussions with God.  The morning of his passing I spoke to my brother about having the same conversation with Jesus as he had.  I prayed to Jesus that he should cure my father or take him home, but do not let him linger in his current state.  Jesus called him home and with his passing I found my father had left me everything I needed to move on.  He left me my family.  There is great love in my family and in my fathers final months he took the time to teach us a final lesson.  Express our love for one another.  Tell you family you love them.  Bring them close in your arms, hold them tight and let them feel the love in your hearts.  Come together often and enjoy the company of one another.


This is the legacy of my father.

Now when my times comes to be with God I will go with less fear in my heart.  I will know my father will be waiting for me with a big bear hug, and of course, some banana pudding.