David "Earl" Williams, 91, died early Sunday morning, July 21, 2013, in the loving care of Hospice and his daughter and son-in-law (Karen and Earl Buffington) in Eddyville, Ky.
He was born Aug. 11, 1921, in West Frankfort to David Monroe Williams and Nettie (Gower) Williams. He was married to Margret Lawrence on July 12, 1943, in Norfolk, Va. He was a longtime member of Antioch Methodist Church, West Frankfort.
Earl was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Margret; by brothers Hagle, Smith, Odie, Eddie Ray, Joe; sisters Goldie Gray, Ethel McClerren, Ruth Smith; and three siblings who died in infancy.
Survivors include one daughter, Karen (Earl) Buffington of Eddyville, Ky.; three sons, Jerry (Judy) Williams of Harrisburg, Denny (Debbie) Williams of West Frankfort, Greg (Bonnie) Williams of Gilbert, Ariz.; nine grandchildren, Lisa (Kevin) Small, Lori (Sherman) Owen, Matt (Kim) Buffington, Leslea (Adam) Barnes, Melissa (John) Ellis, Jason Williams, Josh Williams, Miles Williams, Bryan Williams; nine great-grandchildren, David Small, Rebecca Small, Hannah Owen, Dustin Owen, Quentin Bush, Chloe Bush, Emmalea Barnes, Morgan Barnes, Wyatt Buffington; one brother-in-law, Charlie McClerren; two sisters-in-law, Phyllis Williams and Kathleen Williams; and many nieces and nephews.
Earl served 6 1/2 years in the U.S. Navy from 1939 to 1945. He was a veteran of World War II, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific aboard the aircraft carriers USS Lexington and USS Card. He was a survivor of the Japanese sinking of the Lexington during the Battle of the Coral Sea.
Following World War II, Earl and Margret moved to Detroit, Mich., and then, after a brief time in St. Petersburg, Fla., they returned to Southern Illinois, with their four children, where he worked as a painter and drywall finisher, both self-employed and at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. For several years he and Margret owned and operated the General Store in West End.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 25, 2013, at Antioch Methodist Church in West Frankfort with the Rev. Paul Brown and the Rev. Susan Cox officiating. Burial will be in East Fork Cemetery in West Frankfort with military rites by the Orient and Zeigler American Legions VFW of West Frankfort and by the military funeral honors team in Marion. Visitation will be 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday in Parker Reedy Funeral Home in West Frankfort, and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Church. Memorials may be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois, Lourdes Hospital Hospice, or Antioch Methodist Church.
For more information or to sign the guest register visit www.parkerreedyfuneralhome.com.