Rose Mary Williams

Rose Mary Williams

CHAMPAIGN – Four score years ago, heaven's gift to Earth was our beloved Rose Mary Williams on Sept. 24, 1936. She was born to the union of Roosevelt and Willie Mae Richardson Ruffin in Armorel, Ark. Rose Mary married Frank Williams on July 30, 1966, in Champaign. They were blessed with 50 years of love and devotion.

Rose Mary moved to Champaign-Urbana in 1962, to assist in providing care for a family member (Edward Brown, her great aunt Alja "Aunt Dump" Brown's husband). She became a member of the Mount Olive Baptist Church in the same year. She served in the following ministries: the adult choir, food pantry, which she was instrumental in starting, the missionaries, mission workers, Sunday school, Bible study and the millennium circle, of which she was an original founding member. In the community, she volunteered at the original Frances Nelson Health Services, originally located in the Carver Park subdivision, as well as Burnham City Hospital, and Mercy Hospital.

Rose Mary loved her family. Family meant everything to Rose Mary, and she showed that on a daily basis. Rose Mary added spark and flare wherever she went, and if you met her, you wouldn't forget her because she enjoyed engaging in conversations and making people laugh. Rose Mary was blessed to be able to share those qualities and become the Ambassador of Circle of Friends, where she served as the Queen Bee each day, and was embraced with unmeasurable love. She was also a professional shopper, starting early on at such stores as Robeson, Joseph Kuhn's, and Four Seasons in Tuscola, at which time many African-Americans were not fortunate enough to shop in those establishments. At these times, such stores as Macy's and Bergner's have certainly lost a very valuable member of the elite world of shopping professionals. Rose Mary could out-shop anyone because of her finesse and resources for finding and knowing when all the sales would be beneficial. Her zest for style is a testimony to her gift of style.

Rose Mary's earthly journey ended peacefully at 7:36 p.m. on Easter Sunday (April 16, 2017) surrounded by her loved ones. She leaves with cherishing, loving memories her devoted husband, Frank and two sons, Darrell (Minnie) Ruffin of Champaign and Carlos (Veatrice) Williams I. Additionally, stepchildren, Phoebe Bailey of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Mark (Sophie) Williams of Portland, Oregon, six brothers: Donald (Dorris) Ruffin of Blytheville, Ark., Fred (Lyntia) Ruffin of Perrysburg, Ohio, Charles Ruffin, Richard Ruffin and Rickey Ruffin, all of Toledo, Ohio, and Ellis Smith of San Francisco; four sisters, Margaret (Eugene) Hill of Kansas City, Mo., Vangela Walker and Margaret Williams of Toledo, Ohio, and Wilma Lowe of Chicago; one surviving aunt, Pauline Hart of Blytheville, Ark.; and seven grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. She had a special place in her heart for her great-grandson, DeMarko "DJ" Moore Jr., of whom she raised from an infant. Great-grandson Nylin "Scooter" Williams, who was in her presence daily for 8 years and instrumental in her longevity. She is now in the presence of the Angelic host with her parents, her infant son, Gary, grandparents, and five brothers, a sister, and two grandchildren.

Her life will be celebrated at noon Saturday, April 22, at the Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, 808 E. Bradley Ave., Champaign, with the Rev. Keith L. Thomas. She will await the Resurrection in Woodlawn Cemetery in Urbana. Visitation will be held at the church prior to the service, commencing at 10 a.m.

Transitorial arrangements are being provided by Perry's Twin City Mortuary Service of Champaign.