Richard Burdett Williams (93) of Farina

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Published on February 17 2014 4:13 pm

Richard Burdett Williams, 93, of Farina died Saturday, February 15, 2014 in St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital in Effingham.

Funeral services will be Tuesday, February 18, at 11:00 at Farina United Methodist Church.  Burial will follow in Farina Cemetery.  Visitation will be from 5 to 8pm Monday at the church and from 10am to service time Tuesday.  Memorials to Farina United Methodist Church or the Farina Volunteer Ambulance Service and will be accepted by Rankin Funeral Home in Salem, which is in charge of arrangements.

He was born on August 15, 1920 at his family's home just north of Kinmundy in Marion County, the 10th and final child of the late James E. and Cora Belle Vallow Williams.  He married Ruth Bassett on August 4, 1943 in Chicago.  She preceded him in death on December 29, 2011 after over 68 years of marriage.  He was the last surviving member of the Kinmundy High School Class of 1938.

He was a retired farmer and a prolific gardener, always willing to share his produce.  He served in the US Army for "three years, five months and 22 days", as he was quick to tell you, during World War II, and was very proud of his job as radio operator.  He was a 65-year member of the Farina American Legion.  He was a long-time member of the Farina United Methodist Church, having served as usher, Sunday School teacher and Superintendent, Chairman of the Board, and Lay Leader.  He was dedicated to mission work through organizations such as Men With Vision and World Gospel Mission.  In the 1970s, Dick and Ruth shared their faith at Lay Witness Missions throughout the Midwest.

His community activities included coaching Little League and Pony League baseball, frying countless hamburgers for the Legion at 4th of July celebrations, and anything that was happening at the church.  He served on the school board of the LaGrove Community Unit for many years.

He was well-known as a story teller, spinning his tales everywhere from Children's Sermons at church to his Army reunions.  His hobby was woodworking and he was very create with what he could do with sassafras.  He was a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan.  He was an avid reader, starting and ending each day with a chapter from the Bible.

Survivors include his son, Mike Williams and his wife Mary Jo...and his daughter, Patricia Williams, all of Farina...his grandchildren, Steve Wiliams, Mindy Collmeyer, and Kyle Williams...three great-grandchildren...sister-in-law, Nellie Fern Bassett of Salem...four nephews and three nieces.

He was preceded in death by his parents...his wife Ruth...brothers, Lester, Andrew, James, Maurice and Russell Williams...and sisters, Mabel and Marie Williams, Lura Robnett and Clara Semro.