Charles Carlton Williams, Sr
CORDELE - The funeral service for Charles Carlton Williams, Sr. Of Cordele was held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August 24, 2013 in the chapel of Rainey Family Funeral Services. Dr. R. Page Fulgham and Rev. Ray Sullivan conducted the service. A memorial tribute was given by Lt. Col. (RET) Charlie R. Jameson, Jr. Grandsons, Charles Palmer Bailey and Carlisle H. Vason read scripture, and sweet words of remembrance were given by William D. Bailey. Carolyn Hunt, musician, played soft music and accompanied the congregation as they sang “Victory In Jesus.” Pallbearers were William D. Bailey, Charles Palmer Bailey, Carlisle H. Vason, Jeff Whelchel, Scott Reyher and Grayson Sumner. The committal service with military honors was in Sunnyside Cemetery. LTC Jameson presented the flag to Mrs. Williams at this time.
Mr. Williams, 90, passed away at his home on August 22, 2013. Charles was born May 20, 1923, the son of Britt Nathan Williams and Stella Greer Williams. He graduated from Cordele High School and received a band scholarship to Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. He graduated with a BS degree in math and physics. While at PC, he was a charter member of Theta Chi fraternity and an ROTC cadet.
During World War II, he served as an infantry officer in the U.S Army European Theater of Operations under General Patton. In the Battle of the Bulge, he was awarded a Silver Star for his bravery in combat.
In August, 1945, while home on 30 days leave from service, Charles married his hometown sweetheart, Mary Jeff Whelchel. Mary Jeff was the love of his life, and they celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary earlier this month.
Charles was a successful farmer, business executive, banker and community leader. He owned and operated an 1800-acre farm, where he grew peanuts, cotton, soybeans and corn. He also raised cattle, harvested pecans and managed timber operations. He was an innovator who used progressive production methods and irrigation systems. He received the Soil Conservation Man Of The Year Award for Crisp County. He also served as President of the Crisp County Farm Bureau.
In 1962, at age 39, he was elected to the Board of Directors of Gold Kist, an international agribusiness cooperative. In 1977, he was named Chairman of the Board, and he served in that capacity for nine years. In 1994, he received the Georgia Distinguished Cooperator Award for his contributions to the agricultural industry in Georgia.
Charles was elected to the Board of Cotton States Insurance Companies. He served for several decades on the First State Bank Board and the First State Corporation Board. He also was chosen for membership in the Gridiron Society at the University of Georgia.
In the Cordele community, he held numerous leadership positions. He was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church, serving as a deacon and on the finance committee. He was a County Commissioner and Power Commissioner. He was President of the Cordele Rotary Club and received the Paul Harris Fellow Award from The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.
His achievements were the result of tremendous drive, discipline and hard work. He also had great charm and a quick wit. He loved to tease his friends, and always laughed at his own jokes. He had a smile that could light up any room.
He regarded his family as his greatest treasure. He is survived by his wife, Mary Jeff Williams; three children and their spouses, Stella Williams Bailey, Charles Carlton Williams, Jr. and his wife Debbie, all of Cordele, and Nancy Williams Vason and her husband James Hamilton Vason, Jr. of Atlanta; Grandchildren include William Douglass Bailey, his wife Leigh and their children Julia Caroline and Emily Claire of Americus, Charles Palmer Bailey, his wife Rosemary and their son Charles Chapman Bailey of Macon, Mary Williams Richardsand her daughter Isabella Aguilar of Cordele, Sarah Elizabeth Williams of Asheville, North Carolina, and Elizabeth Anne Vason and Carlisle Hamilton Vason of Atlanta; and one nephew, Britt Greer Williams, Jr and his wife, Joy of Nashville, Tennessee. He was preceded in death by his brother, Britt Greer Williams, Sr.
The family suggests that memorials may be made to Cordele First Baptist Church, 215 East 13th Avenue, Cordele, GA 31015, or to your favorite charity.
Arrangements are by Rainey Family Funeral Services, Cordele. An online guest register is available at www.raineyfuneral.com.
Rainey Family Funeral Services