Ethel Marie Williams


Ethel Marie Williams, 88, of Georgetown, went to be with the Lord on April 17, 2019, surrounded by her family in her home.
She was born May 13, 1930, in Indianola, Ill., to Mattie McCoy.
She was married to Robert R. Williams in August of 1948. He preceded her in death in October of 2017. Although divorced, Robert and Ethel remained friends the rest of their lives.
Ethel is survived by her three daughters, Brenda (Gene) Pierce of Georgetown, Debra (Ray) Gill of Georgetown, and Terry (Les) Shores of Mansfield; her six grandchildren, Tammy (Doug) Howard, Jimmy (Sabrina) Thomas, Chad (Michelle) Gilliland, Jason (Tabetha) Ellis, Clay (Kristin) Ellis, and Matthew Ellis; her 15 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren, with one expected in August. She also is survived by her sisters, Penny Clore of Danville and Liz Thompson of Florida. She was preceded in death by two sisters, Chris Tucker and Peggy Carber, and her brother, Bruce McCoy.
For the last 25 years, she has happily spent her time with her life partner, Robert "Bob" F. Thomas until his recent death on February 27, 2019. Their relationship extended her family to include a daughter, Debra Faulk of Danville; three grandchildren, Tonya Miller, Gary (Cassandra) Hoaks, and Traci (Rodney) Miller; eight great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.
Ethel enjoyed her blended family and loved each of them. She had attended and graduated from Danville Junior College and transferred to University of Illinois, where she was awarded her bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as Advanced Certificate in Elementary Education and Remedial Education. She worked on her PhD at Indiana State University. She was a member of Phi Delta Kappa Honor Society for Education.
Ethel spent most of her career teaching at Georgetown Elementary Schools. She was a pioneer for grant writing and with Title 1 in early prevention of school failure. She worked closely with Lucille Warner developing remedial reading programs.
Ethel was an advocate for reading and education. She loved being with her family, reading and writing poetry. She loved books. She served as mentor and strongly counseled friends and family in education. She will be missed by all those whose lives she touched, as well as her shih tzu, Molly.
A celebration of Ethel's life will be at 1 p.m. Monday, April 22, at Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center of Georgetown, 200 E. West St., with Pastor James Blue officiating. Visitation will be noon-1 p.m. Monday prior to her service at the funeral home. She will be laid to rest in Forest Park Cemetery, Georgetown.
In lieu of flowers, Ethel requested donations be made to the Georgetown Public Library. Please join her family in sharing memories through her Tribute Wall at
Published on April 19, 2019
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