John E. Williams

John E. Williams

John E. Williams, 75, of Grand Tower, died Saturday, April 8, 2023, at Landmark Hospital, surrounded by family.

He was born on Jan. 11, 1948, in Chester, the son of Charles and Ruby Byran Williams.

He met and fell in love with Darlene Reed and they were married on Oct. 19, 1970.  She survives.

He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War for three years and received a Combat Infantry Badge. 

Other than his wife, his other love was being a river boat captain and working on the tow boats, which lasted 42 years. 

He enjoyed collecting old money, fishing, riding the levees and watching westerns and game shows with his wife. He was also an avid Cubs fan. He was always willing to lend a helping hand when he was here and when he was not here.

Along with his wife, survivors include his daughters, Melinda (Wayne) Bridges, Samantha Williams, Joyce Williams, Kayle (Rusty) Huffman, Elizabeth (Orville) Hobbs and Darlene Rushing; sons John (Alissa) Williams and Charles Williams; 18 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren and counting; a sister, Mary Henson; a brother, Jim (Patty) Williams; brothers-in-law William Chapman, Ronald (Gina) Reed, Danny (Martha) Reed and Mike Reed; sisters-in-law Brenda Williams, Nancy Williams, Juanita Reed, Donna Norton and Brenda Gale; and several nieces and nephews, other family and friends. He always said, “It’s tough come Christmas time around here.” 

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Jack Williams, Joe Williams, Danny Williams and Charles Williams; a sister, Sandy Chapman; brothers-in-law Tom Gale, Terry Reed, Bruce Reed and John Norton; and sisters-in-law Linda Reed, Tressa Williams and Mandy Williams.

Graveside services for John Williams will be at noon Friday, May 19, at  Walker Hill Cemetery in Grand Tower, with the Rev. Kenny Verble officiating.

Memorials can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

To view the obituary and/or to leave an online condolence for the family, visit 

Crain Funeral Home in Murphysboro is in charge of arrangements.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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