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Clarence W. Williams

Published September 25,2020

Obituary's Biography:

Clarence Woodrow Williams, 73 years old of Round Lake Beach, IL was born on May 18th, 1947 in Alpine, Alabama, and passed away on September 24th, 2020. He was born in Alpine, Alabama, grew up in Rockford, IL, and graduated from Rockford Auburn High School in 1966. He was a celebrated football and track athlete in high school and college. He earned a bachelor’s degree in special education in 1970 from Illinois State University (ISU) and a master’s degree in education administration in 1974 from (ISU). He then went on to complete all coursework for a doctoral degree at Loyola University in Chicago. Clarence has also spent time volunteering, teaching, and preaching in jails, prisons, and youth detention centers. Most recently he volunteered as a special education consultant and leader of The Bridge, a community-based youth mission in Round Lake, IL. He counseled students and their families regarding disabilities and their overall development and education. Clarence was a deeply and dearly loved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, mentor, and friend. His pride was in his family and raising them to be loving, conscious Christians that did what they loved and made an impact on the world around them. Clarence and his wife, Gail, have lived in Round Lake Beach since 1975. Clarence was an educator and taught at Grayslake and Antioch High Schools, and worked for the Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL), IL for more than 36 years in special education and administration. During that time, twice at both schools, Clarence was nominated by the students to be the commencement speaker for their graduation ceremonies (he also supervised over 30 proms). He coached debate and track teams at Grayslake high school and was often a substitute bus driver. Upon retirement in 2003, he continued to serve as an educational consultant in several districts across northern, IL for another 10 years. Clarence and Gail were married in 1975, and have four children, including Calvin who went home to be with the Lord in 2008, and also eight grandchildren. They have been faithful members of Lake Region Bible Church their entire married life. Clarence served as an Elder in the church since 1978 and in 2011 he started serving as an associate pastor, which “greatly” increased his salary by the max he would allow the church to pay him, $1.00. Clarence loved helping people, telling stories, fishing, gardening, traveling, and collecting things. After the passing of his brother Mack, some of his nieces and nephews looked to Clarence as their second father. He was especially close to Paul Borden and Pricilla Linginfelter. They were always there for Clarence and Gail, and both of them would regularly stop by to check on them and care for them as if they were their own parents.He is survived by his wife Gail of 45 years, his children, Clarissa Williams (Esau McGhee) of Chicago, IL, Gabriel Williams (Jamie Williams) of Racine, WI, Coralie Ward (Forrest Ward) of Powder Springs GA, and also Krisi Williams, his daughter-in-law of Gilbert, AZ; his grandchildren Kaitlyn, Keira, and Coleman Williams of Gilbert AZ, Theo, Joie and Henry Williams of Racine, WI, and Kenzie and Ansley Ward of Powder Springs, GA; his siblings Barbara Cobham of Toledo, OH, Henry Williams of Rockford, IL, Rosie Williams of Rockford, IL, Richard Williams of Rockford, IL, and Lillian Williams of Rockford, IL; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Woodrow and Lizzie Borden Williams, his brother Mack Borden and his oldest son Calvin Williams. A visitation will be held at Strang Funeral Chapel, 410 E. Belvidere Road, Grayslake, on Thursday, October 1, 2020 from 3:00pm until 9:00pm, during this time we will be adhering to all COVID-19 guidelines including wearing of face masks and a maximum of 50 people in the funeral chapel.  A funeral service will be held at Indian Hill Bible Church, 36133 N Fairfield Road, Ingleside, IL 60041 on Friday, October 2, 2020 at 10:00am, a maximum of 100 people are allowed to be in church for the service, family members will be given priority seating. Please wear a mask when entering and leaving the church, once seated you may take the mask off. To live-stream the funeral service please use the following link: https://www.facebook.com/Lake-Region-Bible-Church-135396920032  An outdoor family greeting will take place following the funeral service until 1:00pm at church.  Interment will take place at Windridge Memorial Park, 7014 S Rawson Bridge Road, Cary, IL 60013 on Friday, October 2, 2020 at 2:00pm, social distancing procedures will be enforced.  In lieu of flowers, the family would like memorial contributions to be made to Lake Region Bible Church or The Bridge of Round Lake (an after school mission supported by their church). Online donations can be made through these links:Lake Region Bible Church or The Bridge of Round Lake. If you are giving by check, please make the check out to Lake Region Bible Church. Write “The Bridge” in the memo section if you would like your donation given to The Bridge of Round Lake.  For more information, please call (847)223-8122 or log onto www.strangfuneral.org. 

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42 Comments

  1. We are sending our love and prayers for all the family. Our dear brother-in-law Clarence meant so much to us and to so many others who were influenced by his wise caring ways. We are sad because we will miss him a lot, but at the same time we are thankful for the good times we have enjoyed together and the memories we will always hold dear.

  2. A favorite memory of Uncle Clarence; telling a great story Aesop style and chuckling quietly at the joke at the end. A wonderful uncle taking time to entertain and teach. So thankful for these memories. He is greatly missed. We are thinking of you all. Love and prayers.

  3. A favorite memory of Uncle Clarence; telling a great story Aesop style and chuckling quietly at the joke at the end. A wonderful uncle taking time to entertain and teach. So thankful for these memories. He is greatly missed. We are thinking of you all. Love and prayers.

  4. Trying to describe a wonderful, brilliant, kind, loving, caring, giving, Christian man, father, husband, and friend to many, many people could be an unending comment. Will try to be brief… I, like many, had the pleasure and privilege of knowing Clarence and though I did not know him well as many of you did – even the little I knew of him – – it was enough to recognize the uniqueness of this amazing man. He touched many lives and every life and person he touched was far better after, than it/ they had been before they met. He was a gift to his family and he loved them with his whole heart. Selfless and generous in every way – that was him. They say memories will help as you mourn the loss of a great person and the huge number of memories are immeasurable for the generous giant of a man he was. May God help you all during this most difficult time and may you find some comfort knowing he was one of the very few people on this earth who was extremely special to more people than you can even imagine. He made a difference in the lives of many and God has rewarded him with eternal peace and rest. He will watch over you all, guide you through life, be with you in all you do and be waiting to greet you when God reunites you in heaven. Most Sincere Sympathies to Gail, the kids and family plus many friends who loved him so!

  5. My sincere sympathy to you, dear Gail and to your family. You are all in my thoughts and prayers as you lay to rest your loving husband and father. Clarence was a wise and wonderful man. You will miss him but will have many memories to give you comfort.

  6. Dearest Gail, I’m at a loss for words. Just know that I’m thinking of you and praying for you and your sweet family.

  7. Dear Gail and family: We were saddened to hear of Clarence’s passing. He was such a dear man and will be missed by so many. We are glad to have been part of his life at Antioch Community High School for many years. Our prayers are with you. Tom and Robin Kessell

  8. Clarence and I were not only neighbors but also school mates for most of our lives. He was a kind and gentle man even growing up.
    I know that he is a great loss to his family. My condolences and prayers to his family.

  9. Dear Gail and family I have no words that I can tell you to make you feel better, your husband was the nicest man I knew, when he came to my house to tell me about Calvin I couldn’t believe it, I was so happy to see him and then he told me the terrible news about Calvin. Your family was the best neighbors. I remember when you had Calvin and you brought him outside by the fence so we could see him. I remember when you were building your house. I will miss him but I know he is in a great place with my mom and dad and my husband I always remember the saying, only the good die young, when you are the one left behind. God Bless you and your family, if I can do anything for you just let me know. Love Karen and family.

  10. The great and wonderful Clarence Williams. I was very blessed to be able to call him Boss for so many years. One of my favorite stories about Clarence happened on a bad day at work. It had been an especially difficult day and I was at the end of my rope. Clarence walked into my room and handed me a teabag. I looked at him annoyingly and asked him what am I supposed to do with this? He said have a cup of tea. I said great, when I get a chance. He said no. Go have a cup of tea now. I will stay with your class. He gave me a timeout and allowed me an opportunity to get my stuff together. He could have reprimanded me for being less than professional that day. Instead, he treated me humanely and with compassion. I am forever blessed to have known the Great and Wonderful Clarence Williams.

  11. I recall his demeanor as he walked with his students in the hallways of Grayslake High…Peace to your soul, Mr. Williams.

  12. Clarence was a high school friend. His laugh was contagious and as I close my eyes today I can hear it. Between Clarence, Isaiah, Percy and Sanford I had some fabulous friends for a mousey little guy in high school. Thank you Clarence and God bless.

  13. Mr. Williams
    You will be missed
    Thank you for all you did for me and tried to do for me you helped so many of us
    So glad I had you for a teacher
    Thank you!!!!!
    My condolences

  14. My family and I want to give you our condolences, we know that your family is going through a very difficult time. We will be praying for you, so that God brings comfort to your hearts. We will always fondly remember and miss Mr. Williams. We are grateful to God for allowing us to have such an excellent neighbor as he was.

    Daniel Garcia and family.

  15. May you rest in heaven say hello to my parents leola and rc love you cuzz my mom has anothet brother with her

  16. Just a few days ago, I was talking to my fiancé about how one of my earliest memories is of visits to Dr. Williams’s beautiful garden as a young child with Clarissa “Kissy” Williams, who has been a part of my family for as long as I can remember. I can recall so clearly being in awe of the giant sunflowers growing there and Dr. Williams’ gentleness in lifting me up to see the very top of them and patience in answering my many questions. Dr. Williams never failed to have a smile or a hug when I came to visit and to this date those are some of my most joyful memories, especially of singing children’s hymns (such as the Gospel puppets!) with him, Kissy and Mrs. Williams at their home. His love of others was exemplary and I know in Heaven he is likely planting many sunflowers to distribute among friends and family.

  17. I knew mr. Williams at Antioch High School he was my special education dean of students I was a troubled student but till this day I still stayed in touch with him and he knew my family you’re the wonderful person and he helped me through a lot of things as well as my teachers they were also a blessing I’m sending my prayers and blessings to his family during this tough time I personally have lost a lot of people throughout the summer and fall and I am shocked to hear this news I just found out today and I really did enjoy his presence and I loved him I tried to get to see him in July of this year and it never really panned out cuz of the Coronavirus but I will miss him

  18. Clarence left a legacy of caring, wisdom, and sincere interest in all he came into contact with. He touched so many, for so many years, and did so out of his personal kindness. .A wonderful person, humanitarian, teacher, pastor, and family man. An outstanding citizen serving the downtrodden, and volunteering for many outstanding causes to the benefit of his community.

  19. Excellent person; Clarence will be missed by his church, community, family, and institutions he so faithfully served. Served many with kindness and wisdom

  20. You will be missed Uncle Clarence.
    Oh how we loved you!!!
    To Aunt Gail and my cousins, we love you, and are praying for you.
    Love, Paula and Family

  21. Dear Gail and family,
    Your Husband/ father was a wonderful, gentle servant to all of us who’ve had the great blessing of knowing him.
    As you know, Clarence came alongside of me through my most difficult season. His wisdom, strength and guidance were a constant source of care and support. I am forever grateful.

    When my niece was diagnosed with cancer, Clarence took the time to drive into the city with us to meet with a cancer specialist. His presence and input made it possible for my sister to navigate all of the choices she needed to make. For my niece, his presence was an enormous comfort.
    My heart and prayers will continue to be with all of you as you grieve such loss.
    God’s great blessings and strength over all of you.
    Sandy

  22. Florence, Linda and EK send our condolences to the family. We also our grieved at this time but joyful that we will see him again in eternity.

  23. We send our deepest sympathy and are praying for your entire family at this time.
    To Gail and family
    Florence, Linda and EK

  24. Mr. Williams was my debate coach at GCHS in the late 70s. He was a positive influence in my life in many ways. I wonder if he left his popcorn stuffing recipe with Gail — a fond memory of a holiday dinner he hosted for his team. My deepest sympathy to Gail and his family.

  25. I first met Clarence as he would stroll past the Lakes Community High School Security Desk. I always saw a giant smile, a warm heart and a willingness to talk to anyone, no matter their station in life. Little did I know that I was looking into the eyes of my daughter’s future father-in-law! Every time he came through, his demeanor was consistently friendly. I was observing a diamond, well-polished, and I didn’t know it. A humble man, he would never have expounded on his accomplishments to anyone. It’s funny how little you can know someone and yet some characteristics speak volumes. My greatest regret is not knowing him better. He was a man worthy of knowing and experiencing. Forget bumping elbows. We should have been rubbing shoulders. He had diamond-shine to spare. My greatest blessing is knowing I can experience Clarence still through his son, Gabriel. Blessings and prayers for Clarence’s large family. I see now that God has blessed the world through Clarence Williams and know He will continue to through his family.

  26. Clarence is a man of God, leaving a powerful witness behind for all of us. An amazing gardener, father, educator and elder and minister! My children were blessed by knowing as young children an example of an individual who was a father to their friends but also related to other kids in such an authentic, honest and kind way! Funny too! My one daughter mentions his “magic apple” story as wowing her that an adult could come down and relate to her on her level—a permanent positive memory of a trustworthy adult – a steadying influence.
    God bless you Clarence as you are now among the precious cloud of witnesses! May we all follow your example as pilgrims still on earth with a journey yet before us. When we get discourage — we can remember your living example and press on, each one to their duty until our day of joining the cloud of witnesses.

    Rest in our Lords’ peace!

  27. Mr. D.W was the most amazing neighbor. He was beyond loving and caring and always helped us in some of our darkest times. Our most deepest condolences goes. From the Moreno, Repizo and Sanchez Family

  28. We have lost a truly wonderful person, who has had such a positive influence on the lives of so many people. It has been our honor to have been able to call Clarence our friend. We would like to extend our most sincere condolences to the entire Williams Family.
    Sincerely, Steve & Ronda Wapon

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I know he thought a lot of you & always hoped to visit you in AZ.
      Gail

  29. We have lost a truly wonderful person, who has had such a positive influence on the lives of so many people. It has been our honor to have been able to call Clarence our friend. We would like to extend our most sincere condolences to the entire Williams Family.

  30. Dear Gail and family,

    I’m so sorry to hear of Clarence’s passing. I also enjoyed visiting w/ him at family gatherings. I’m praying that God will hold each of you close in His loving arms of comfort as you grieve. I’m so thankful we can hold on to the hope of meeting again in Heaven! Much love to all of you. Karen

    1. Thank you, Karen. He also enjoyed getting to know all my cousins. We appreciate your prayers.
      Love, Gail

  31. I’m so sorry for the loss of Clarence, a dear cousin-in-law that I wish I’d gotten to know better than I did. That is my loss, but heaven still awaits me and I look forward to visiting with him there. I’m praying for you, Gail, and your family, that the Lord will provide comfort and strength during this difficult time.
    With much love and sympathy, Lori

  32. You will be missed Uncle Clarence. I love you.

    To Aunt Gail and my cousins, Clarissa, Gab, Coralee, I understand what you’re going through. I am praying for you. I love you.
    Love, Julizene

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