Maddie's Story

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God has called His angel home. On Monday, Feb. 13, at 7 a.m., Maddie L. Humphries Williams transitioned to her heavenly home.
Maddie was born Nov. 19, 1935, to Will, Sr., and Beatrice Dixon Humphries in Beular, Miss. She was the second of 10 children born to that union. She attended public school in Rosedale, Miss.
At the age of 14, Maddie met a handsome young man who later became her best friend and beloved husband for 38 years, the late Oscar L. Williams. They were married on May 11, 1952, in Rosedale. To this union, six children were born: Maddie, Oscar Jr., Linda, Katherine, Tammy and Tracey. After the death of her mother, Maddie also raised her youngest sister, Ruth Ann.
She and her husband relocated to Champaign and eventually moved to Danville in Jan. 1953. She joined Union Baptist Church under the pastorate of Rev. R. Hutchins, Sr. She was a founding member of New Union Baptist Church, under the pastorate of Rev. U. D. Williams. She served as chairwoman of the culinary staff and on the Hospitality Committee.
Maddie was an active supporter of all her children's activities including Garfield School Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, Lincoln Raiders Football and Cheerleading teams, Jewell Butler Softball team, Danville High School and Second Baptist Church. Maddie made the robes for the Second Baptist Church Belle Aires Children's Choir.
She was an active volunteer driver for Mr. Jewel Butler to transport people to the voting polls. She was adamant about voting and never missed voting even when her health was failing.
Maddie was a woman of many talents. She was known for her skill as a seamstress, cook, medical advice, childcare, gardening, shopping, fishing and an all-around "Mrs. Fix-it!" She loved to travel and often went on trips with her children, friends and family.
Neighborhood children knew they could always get a meal at Ms. Williams' house. No one was ever turned away. She was famous for her banana pudding, salmon croquettes, sweet potato pies, potato salad and her pinto beans and cornbread. Maddie readily shared her recipes (that she never wrote down) and taught most of the neighborhood how to cook.
Maddie was the "The Oak Street Doctor on Call" and childcare provider. Any ailment, rash, cough or injury was brought to her for a diagnosis. Her cures ranged from a dose of asafetida, milk of magnesia, aspirin, seek further medical attention or to simply "go sit down and stop running." She was a stay at home mom and was the resident babysitter for her nieces and nephews. Whenever one of them got sick at school, she was the one who was called to pick them up.
She loved to fish. As soon as the weather permitted, she would be on the fish bank. If you did not call her early, you would have to wait until the sun went down to reach her. She and her husband travelled to Mississippi, Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico to go fishing. Her favorite local spot was Kennekuk Cove. Several years ago, she went fishing for the first time in a boat. Thanks, Winston Penn, she really enjoyed that outing and the smoked turkey legs!
She was a woman of class and style. Whenever she attended church on Sunday or any social function, she was dressed from head-to-toe! She loved her hats and was very rarely seen without one. She loved fashion and often made her family's clothing. She was an avid shopper, a trait she passed down to her daughters and granddaughters. Maddie never met a mall that she did not like! She shopped in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Orlando, Washington D.C., New Jersey, Terre Haute, Tucson, Chicago, St. Louis, and of course, Champaign.
Gardening was another passion. She could grow anything! Her collards would grow as tall as the garage. She loved a beautiful yard and her flower gardens were to be envied. She won her neighborhood beautification award several years in a row.
Maddie was a true handy woman! She had tools and tricks for fixing just about everything. Any tools that were needed, she had.
Maddie enjoyed all of the above, but most of all she possessed a deep love for family and faith in God. She trained and raised her children in the way of the Lord. She prayed daily and faithfully. She taught them to keep God first in their lives. Respect was a must. She practiced and demonstrated the Golden Rule in her daily life. She encouraged her children and others to be and do their best and that God knows our hearts and sees all that we do. She stressed the importance of helping others. She believed in disciplining with love and did not hesitate to do so when needed.
She will truly be missed yet her legacy lives on through her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren (who dearly loves Mama and Granny) and in all whose life she touched.
She leaves to cherish her memory her children, Maddie Williams-Tate of Country Club Hills, Oscar (Ofelia) Williams, Linda (Glenn) Williams-Rowell and Tammy, all of Danville; son-in-law, Michael (Alma) O'Keefe of Glen Ellyn. Eleven grandchildren and many great-grandchildren; brothers, Will, Jr., Chicago, Johnny, Denver, Colo., Kendrick, N.C.; sisters, Everlena (Larry) Williams, Shaw, Miss., Willa Mae Bean, Gunnison, Miss., Dorothy Collins, Champaign, Minnie Maxwell and Rosa Humphries both of South Bend, Ind., and Ruth Ann (Samuel) Ault of Danville; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; beloved husband, Oscar Williams, Sr.; daughters, Katherine Williams-O'Keefe and Tracey Williams; step-daughter, Velora Evans; grandsons, Torrence Williams and Malik Abdullah; and brother, Willie Humphries.
Thanks to all for your prayers, calls, visits, cards or just for thinking of our family.
Special thanks to Dr. Karen Broaders, Community Care, Carle Hospital Staff, Presence Medical Center, Candy Scott, Samuel "Sammy" Ault Jr., Rev. U.D. Williams and the New Union Baptist Church family, Rev. Roland Brown, Carter Metropolitan CME Church, Caregivers Tiffany and Jessica for the love and care you provided to our Mom.
A Home Going Celebration will commence at noon Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, at New Life Church of Faith, 1419 N. Bowman Ave. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until the time of the service. Viewing will be from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017, at Leek & Sons Funeral Home, 304 E. Williams St. Officiating: Pastor U.D. Williams. Interment will be at Spring Hill Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to www.leekandsonsfuneralhome.com.
Published on February 17, 2017
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