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Josephine Smith Williams, 79, of Florence, passed away February 01, 2018.
Visitation will be Monday, February 5, 2018 from 1-3 p.m. at Highland Baptist Church. The funeral service will follow at 3 p.m. with Dr. John Brock and Brother Chris Underwood officiating. Burial will follow in Greenview Memorial Park.
Jo was born in Bridgeport, AL. She came to Florence State University in 1957. Her strong faith led her to the BSU and a local church where she met Sue and Mary Lee, her future sister-in-laws who introduced her to the love of her life, Robert. They married in 1960. Jo and Robert lived the example of Ephesians 5:31, “the two will become one.” As they committed to each other they also made the Smith and Williams families one. Jo adored Jimmy (Pat), Charles (Bettie), Sue (Gary), Mary Lee (Sonny), Jenny (Charles) and Bruce (Bev) just as her own. She was loved by numerous nieces and nephews. Together they established a home that was always open to family, friends and students. Jo taught a year at Deshler before coming to Forest Hills where she taught for the remainder of her 29 year career in education. She taught Physical Education most of these years and she loved those jr. high students. Jo was Coach Williams to many girls. She coached basketball, volleyball, track, cheerleading, pep squad and gymnastics. She was proud of two gymnastics state championships. Whether she was teaching a P.E. class or coaching a team she always demanded discipline, hard work, and respect for others and of course, love of the sport. Most of all she will be remembered by her students for the love that she had for them as young people. Jo truly saw potential in all of her students and athletes.
The Williams were active members at Highland Baptist Church where Jo used her teaching abilities across all age groups. Jo was a member of the Love Sunday School Class. She became known affectionately as Mama Jo by the young girls that she taught in G.A.‘s and coached in church basketball. Sharing her faith was very important and she looked for opportunities to share the differences Christ had made in her life. After retirement, Robert and Jo enjoyed traveling with Campers on Mission and attending spring training baseball.
Mrs. Williams was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Williams; son, Brian Williams; brothers, Joe John and David Smith and John Keys; and sisters, Katherine Smith, Edna Moss and Becky Westmoreland.
She is survived by her son, Allen Williams (Regina); daughter, Debbie Reynolds (Doug) all of Florence; brothers, Charles Smith of Richmond, VA, Herschel Smith (Mary), Andrew Smith all of Bridgeport, AL; sisters, Martha McGuffey of Florence, Sally Cox of Smyrna, TN, Lena Cagle(Alvin), Judy Sprinkle (Bill) of Bridgeport, AL, Pat Stovall (Joe) of Shelbyville, TN; grandchildren, Tara Brown (Josh), Josh Williams of Florence, Rob Reynolds, Micah Reynolds both of Baton Rouge, LA, Jason Reynolds (Ashley) of Nashville, TN.
Her greatest pleasures came in the blessing of her five beautiful grandchildren, who also adored their Nanny.
Pallbearers will be Rob Reynolds, Micah Reynolds, Jason Reynolds, Josh Williams, Josh Brown and Jody Stovall.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to HBC.