Leroy Williams was born in Ironton, Ohio located on the Ohio River on March 18, 1930. He was the fifth of eight children born to Millard McKinley Williams and Bertha Alice Fradd. He had four brothers; Clyde, Milton, Arlan (all deceased), and Morris (living). He also had three sisters; Thelma (died at the age of two), Loretta (living), and Roberta (deceased).
When Leroy was five years of age, his parents separated and life was not easy. During these times, he learned to dive to the bottom of the Ohio River and collect scrap metal that had
fallen off passing barges. He also learned how to cry in front of the local theater until he earned enough nickels to get into the 25 cent show. Opening a side door then, he would let his brothers in so they could all see the show.
Keeping warm, especially in the winter was easy too. He simply slept with his pet pig.
These are just a few ways a young boy lived the farm life of the early twentieth century as the
country tried to recover from depression. His mother, Bertha, began to attend a Lutheran church. This was the time Leroy learned about God and Jesus and he began to study the Bible.
World War II began and his older brothers went off to war. Consequently, Leroy had to leave school early to care for his mother and the family. But he was always self-learning and later in life would spend time teaching himself new definitions through a word learning program in the Reader's Digest.
In 1948 at the age of eighteen, Leroy joined the Ohio National Guard as a private in the small weapons infantry. He served five years in Company C, 148th Battalion and was honorably discharged in 1953. Leroy was now 23 years of age and worked at Willy's Overland Auto Factory. He rode the bus and met a nice lady who wanted to introduce him to her granddaughter, Doris. He started to attend North Cove Church of God where Doris and her grandmother attended. He became active in the church and loved singing in the choir. Soon his mother, Bertha, also began attending. During this "getting-to-know-Doris" period, he bought his very first car from Willy's. It was his favorite color, blue, and he was so proud of it, he washed it every day! Love bloomed and Leroy and Doris married on November 21, 1953. Leroy began work at the Libbey Glass Company and Doris worked as a keypunch operator at LaSalle's Department store. They went from an apartment to a small trailer and to a larger trailer in Oregon. By this time, with two little girls, Denise and Jackie, and one on the way (Patti), they moved into a small house on Guy Street in Walbridge. Then came daughter number four, Shereen, and five, Lori. Leroy was laid off and the house was lost despite Doris helping to make ends meet by ironing people's laundry and giving piano lessons.
They bought a house a few streets away on Elmwood to accommodate their family of seven.
Leroy spent special times with his girls and was protective of them as fathers are. They
attended Northwood Church of God for many years where the whole family was active in the
church including the church's piano player, yes, Doris. Leroy found a temporary job at Campbell's Soup Factory. There were plenty of rejected dented cans that the employees were allowed to take home, but one can only stomach so many stewed tomatoes!
Leroy then got a steady job at Doehler Jarvis Factory where he worked until 1978, at which
time, he sold the house for $28,000 and had a brand new house built on Robinson Avenue in
Port Charlotte for $28,000. It was a win-win situation.
Leroy worked for the Charlotte County Roads & Bridges Department and was active in the
union up until his retirement in 1995.
He lived forty years on Robinson Avenue enjoying his children and their families at all kinds of
celebrations, holidays and festivities. He was married to Doris for nearly 65 years and renewed
their vows on their 50th anniversary.
Leroy peacefully went to his heavenly home on September 6, 2018.
He is survived by his wife, Doris; five daughters, Denise Bowlander (with spouse Robert), Jacqueline (Jackie) Beard (with spouse Tim), Patricia (Patti) Iliff (with spouse Ron), Shereen Davis (with spouse Tim), and Lori (Casey) Rolston (with spouse John).
His legacy includes 10 grandchildren; Robbie and Ricky Bowlander, Amanda Tarman, Joseph
Pariseau, Marguerite Murrill, Derek and Justin Hastings, Chris and Philip Davis, and Renee
Rolston. There are three great-grandchildren; Sonny, Anthony and Ava.
We would love to hear your comments, stories, anecdotes and experiences with Leroy.
Whether you have journeyed with our family for many years or in just recent times, we are
grateful for all of you and welcome your feedback!
Thank you from the heart,
The Williams Family
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2:00pm, Saturday Sept 15, 2018 at the Atwater Community Church, 5290 Atwater Dr, North Port, FL 34288
"Well Mr. Williams" You are home in Heaven!! I am happy for you and enjoy your fun presence.
"Mr. Beard here" (Peace 11) Until we meet face to face again!
Me and dad.
Dad, You will be missed here but I know you are near and have felt your presence. I am so happy for you and I love you. I will see you again soon and you can give me a tour of heaven. Love, Jacqueline
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