After a long and productive life, Joseph Williams of Hertford, NC, passed away on September 11, 2019 while in Hospice Care at the age of 79.
Joe requested to be cremated, with his ashes interred next to his mother and near his favorite older sister, Sissy, at the Cedar Grove cemetery in Newport, NC. A graveside service will be held at 1:00 PM on Monday December 21, 2020 with Joni Dennise officiating at Cedar Grove. Due to Covid-19, masks and social distancing will be required.
He leaves behind his partner of over 30 years, Ruth Mengel; his two daughters and their husbands, Jo Anne and John Wilkerson, and Jackie and John Lancaster; Ruth’s daughter Susan Revels; and a collective total of five grandsons, one granddaughter, and two great-grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Joe was born on June 6, 1940 on the family’s Mill Creek farm in Harlowe Township, NC, to father Walter Williams and mother Annie Small Williams, who predeceased him. He grew up in a large, active family with 3 sisters and 3 brothers. At 17, Joe joined the U.S. Coast Guard, which he served proudly and nobly for 20 years at stations from Ketchikan, Alaska, to Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, until retiring as a Senior Chief Petty Officer. Attaining his Captain’s license, Joe began a second career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and served as the Master of coastal dredging ships, primarily serving in the South Atlantic Wilmington District, keeping waterways clear and navigable up and down the east coast. Retired for a second time, Joe settled in Hertford, NC.
Joe married Paula Hill on February 20, 1959, and they raised their two daughters Jo Anne and Jackie in various locations around the U.S., from Coast Guard assignments in Alaska to North Carolina, finally settling in Beaufort, NC, where Joe would eventually transition from the Coast Guard to the Corps of Engineers. With the girls grown and raising families of their own, Joe and Paula later divorced.
While serving on his many Corps assignments, Joe eventually met and fell in love with Ruth, whose child, Susan, would come to regard Joe as a father. Joe and Ruth lived together in Hertford, NC, where they would eventually help Susan raise her own children, and happily made the time to see Joe’s daughters and their children, often meeting in Greenville, NC, to have a meal and attend East Carolina Football games, one of Joe’s favorite things to do.
Joe is preceded in death by his parents and all but one of his siblings.
Condolences and life tributes may be sent to the family at www.noefs.net
Arrangements by Noe Funeral Service, Inc. of Beaufort, NC.
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