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Life and Legacy of Garland Ronnell Williams Sr
Chesapeake-On August 15, 2023 the heavenly gates opened to welcome our precious husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin and friend, Garland Ronnell Williams Sr. affectionately known as “Ronnell”.
Ronnell was born in Norfolk County, VA on December 31, 1945. He was the fourth son of the late
Alexander Sr. and Bernice Fitchett Williams. He was preceded in death by his brothers: Rev. Geoffrey T. Williams, Alexander “Dukie” Williams, and Charles B. Williams.
Ronnell was educated in Norfolk County Public Schools. He was a member the 1964 graduating class of Crestwood High School. He graduated form Norfolk State University with a Bachelor of Arts
degree in Business Administration. Ronnell enlisted in the US Air Force in 1965 and served in the Vietnam War until 1969.
At a young age, Ronnell worked with his father hauling wood, ice and coal. He retired from Texaco Oil Company where he worked in a variety of roles, the last role being a sales representative for the
company. After retirement he began to drive trucks for his family business, Williams Fuel Oil Company
of Chesapeake, VA.
He accepted Christ at a very young age and became a dedicated member of the church. He was
ordained a Deacon at Providence United Church of Christ in 1978. In 2000, Ronnell joined Trinity Faith
Centre located in Chesapeake, VA where he faithfully served as Sunday School teacher and Men’s
Ministry, until his health declined. He studied the Bible daily and prepared all week for his Sunday School lessons. He attended all church services and took copious notes. He believed in 2 nd Timothy 2:15, “Study to show yourself approved unto God...,”
Ronnell worked tirelessly for his community. He was Civic League president of the West Munden Civic
League in Chesapeake, VA for more that 30 years. He was a helping hand to many in the community
including cutting grass for those in need, serving the homeless, and visiting the sick. He was a
passionate advocate for his community. It was never too early, too cold, or too dark for Ronnell to lend a
helping hand. Ronnell also was a former member of Joshua Masonic Lodge #66.
Ronnell met and married the love of his life, Phyllis Featherston and to their union, the Lord blessed
them with three amazing children. Beautiful memories of Ronnell will always be cherished by his loving
and devoted wife, Phyllis F. Williams; children: Garland R. Williams, Jr., Ranard P. Williams (Sabrina); his only daughter, Erika S. Williams; grandchildren: Shantelle R. Haggins, Shani E. Williams, Shadae N. Williams, Erik A. Johnson, Taniyah R. Williams, Ashley T. Williams, Ranard P. Williams Jr., Jacob A. Williams; 1 brother: Reginald E. Williams (Delores); 2 sisters: LaVerne W. Lawton (Primus) and Cherita Puryear (Eric); 1 aunt: Ethel F. Johnson; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, inlaws, other relatives and friends.
Through all of his sickness he never complained, because he knew God had been good to him. He was a quiet giant! To know Ronnell, was to love him. He was quick with a joke and could brighten any room. To God be the glory! A funeral service will be held on Monday, August 28, 2023 at 11am at St. Joseph AME Zion Church; 1540 Atlantic Avenue; Chesapeake; VA 23324. Mr. Williams will lie in peaceful repose from 10:00 am until time of service. Immediately following, Mr. Williams' earthly vessel along with his cherished family will be escorted to Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk VA.
As hard as it will be for Ronnell's loved ones to depart without him, God our Heavenly Father promised to give peace that will surpass all of our understanding even in the midst of grief and sorrow. The hymnologist said it best... when he put pen to parchment writing.... “We’ll understand it better all by and by.”
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