Mr. Thelma Williams, Jr was born in Cave City, Kentucky on June 19th, 1922 to Thelmon Williams, Sr and Lizzie Eubanks Williams. He was educated in Cave City, Kentucky from elementary school through high school. Thelma accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior at an early age. As a young boy, playing baseball and basketball after school and on Saturday afternoons was his favorite past time.
He volunteered to enter the United States Army at the age of 17 in 1943. He later admitted he lied to the recruiter about his age so he could serve his country. Thelma Jr. served for 22 years with an honorable discharge as Sergeant E-6 First Class. He received commendations for Sharpshooter Commendation, Commendation Ribbon pendant-1st Oak Leaf Cluster, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the WWII Victory Medal. Thelma Jr’s occupations while serving included General Supply, Artillery, and Military Police. Tours of duty included Okinawa, Baumholder, Germany and Vienna Austria.
While serving, Thelma Jr met and married Maggie Higgerson and three children were born to this union. Lorraine Williams Walker, Sabrina Williams Ware and Vernon Thomas Williams. Both Maggie Williams and Lorraine Williams Walker preceded him in death.
After his tours of duty, Thelma Jr retired from the Army at Ft. Riley, Kansas and settled in Junction City to begin a new career. Finding employment was somewhat difficult in 1962. But Thelma Jr was determined. He began his career working as the Juvenile Probation and Parole Officer for the State of Kansas for over 21 years. He enjoyed his work assisting young people to strive to do better in their lives. He officed in the Junction City Court house working under various Court Judges over the years.
Thelma Jr’s impact extended to serving at Second Missionary Baptist Church in various roles. He could be found transporting children of the community to attend Vacation Bible School, BTU or any activity in the church’s station wagon. Thelma Jr served on the Usher Board, various Pastor’s search committees, Finance Department, Men’s Sunday School Teacher and Board of Christian Education. One of his greatest highlights of his life was to being ordained as Deacon of Second Missionary Baptist Church by the late Rev. Walter Long.
Thelma Jr enjoyed life wherever he went and never met a stranger. His hobbies included playing Pinochle with friends at the Senior Center and at Valley View Estates. He was instrumental in starting a group of Pinocle players at Valley View-a request made of him from the Center Director.
Thelma Jr is survived by his children, Sabrina Williams Ware (Gerald) and Vernon Thomas Williams (Brenda), two grandchildren, Justin Thomas Ware and Noah Thomas Williams. One Great Grandchild, Luna Kai Ware and many nieces and nephews. His siblings, Clifford Poynter, Emma Green, Mary Magdalene Williams, and Merrill Williams all preceded him death. Thelma J’s life will be celebrated by the Junction City community, his church and many friends.
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