With deepest feelings of regret, we announce the soul departure of Paul Williams, who passed peacefully at Hines VA Hospital at 9:08 pm on January 24, 2022.
Paul was born a depression-era baby in Hickory Valley, Tennessee. As a young boy, he moved to Chicago where he attended Fiske Grammar School in the Woodlawn neighborhood. The boyhood friends he made he kept for life and was often at their side in their last moments. He loved to reminisce about his years growing up on Chicago’s southside, including his summers in Tennessee with his beloved cousin Joe Boy. At age 16, he joined the US Navy. Upon discharge, he returned to Chicago where he enjoyed many blessed years with his friends and family. He enjoyed his love of sports, classic film, golden gloves boxing, gin martinis and of course, playing the ponies. He was affectionately nick-named “Red” for the healthy bright hair he sported.
He was notoriously proud of his beloved children, Paul Williams (a Golden Gloves champion), daughter Kelly, and youngest son Thomas. He was an adoring grandfather to Aaron (Ashley), Brett, and Sarah Williams.
He was genuinely grateful and proud of his life and would do it all again. Every Father’s Day, for decades, he would raise a glass with heartfelt sincerity and tell his kids and grandkids how much he loved them and that is was he, not Lou Gehrig, who was the “luckiest man on the face of the Earth.”
He always had a song on his mind and was heard humming the jazz standards in the great American songbook, from Ella to Sinatra to Perry Como. Life was too short not to sing out loud.
He loved spending time with his kids, grandkids and family friends. He was full of great stories, and was warm and affectionate to all.
He follows the earlier callings to heaven of his parents, Wood and Jessie, his older brothers John Ed and Herbert, and former wife Margaret Williams, and nephew Roger Williams. He will be lovingly remembered by his loving younger sister Shirley Ann Vaughn, his nephews Gene (Debbie), David (Fern), Greg (Monica) and niece Amy Vaughn, as well as nephews Darrell (Catherine), Dale (Amy), and Gary (Jan) Williams, and finally by his dearest lifelong friends JJ Johnston, Jamie Johnston and Michael Johnston.
A visitation will be held at Blackburn-Giegerich-Sonntag Funeral Home from 9:30 – 11:00 am on Friday, February 4, 2022. The family will then follow Paul Williams to Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery where he will be presented with military honors and laid to rest at 12:30.
Masks, covering the nose and mouth, are required for all guests attending the viewing, and while inside the funeral home. Thank you for your cooperation.