FAMU Mourns the Death of Officer (Ret.) Joe Williams

Military presents flag to family
Photo by: Shikari Hamm

Family, friends and the Florida A&M University (FAMU) community assembled to celebrate FAMU retired Police Officer, Joe Williams’ life.

The homegoing service was held at Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church this afternoon.

Williams was born Dec. 4, 1937 to the late Rivers and Leola Williams. He died on Saturday, Nov. 21 of unknown causes.

He attended old Lincoln High School and graduated in 1960. Upon graduation,Williams served in the United States Army.

Williams worked as a police officer with FAMU Police department for 23 years and retired Aug. 1, 1992.

Pastors, eulogist, clergy, Valentine Lodge No. 147 PHA and Tallahassee Sheriff’s Department Officers, led the family, as the Tillman Gospel Chorale sang, “I Want to Go Where Jesus is”.

Rev. Dr. J.B. Duval, moderator emeritus, First Bethlehem Baptist Association, Inc., became friends with Williams while working at FAMU.  

“A friend is a person that knows all about you, knowing all your weak and strong points, loving you just the same. I found Joe to be that way,” Duval said. “God is our Father, Christ is our redeemer and savior, man is our brother.”

He was a devoted member of the Valentine Lodge No. 147 PHA.

The Valentine Lodge No. 147 PHA., said their hearts and prayers are with the family in their time of sorrow.

“He was a fervent man who loved the Lord. He instilled his family values to everyone he came into contact with. He was a confidant counselor and friend,” Valentine Lodge No. 147 PHA stated in a resolution.

Marlon Williams, the grandson of Joe, said he remembered many times staying over to the house and his grandfather would be his playmate.

“I would sit and chill on his stomach in his favorite chair,” Williams said. “Every now and then he would get up and say he was going for a ride and ask if I wanted to go. We would ride all through south side.”

Williams continued to ponder and reflect the memories he shared with his grandfather before singing his solo, “God Is My Everything.”

“Granddaddy had his house in order and ten years ago he had one more thing to get in order. He walked to the front of the church and gave his life to Christ. There is no more order that you can get than that. To the men in the family, we have to take up the baton and run with it and make sure we stand strong in carrying on his name the way that it should be carried,” Williams added.

Elder Samuel Hayes, pastor of Mount Olive Primitive Baptist Church No. 2, Tallahassee, Fla., was the eulogist, and his subject was “It’s Time for Victory Shout.”

“Williams’ was blessed to stay around,” Hayes said. “He loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Hayes commended the children for taking care of their father.

“To the children, you all did a great job; thumbs up. I observe you all through the years taking care of your dad, and God doesn’t count that lightly,” Hayes added.

Williams was baptized by Duval and joined Mount Olive Primitive Baptist Church No. 2, in Crawfordville, Fla.

Williams was buried at Mount Olive Church Cemetery where the military honored him.

The Valentine Lodge, No. 147 PHA and FAMU Police Department concluded the burial service with a special ceremony remembering Williams.

Lt. Norman Rollins, patrol commander of FAMU Police Department, has been with the department for 23 years and gave his condolences.

“Officer Joe and all the retirees hold a very special place in our hearts in terms of their mentoring for us when we were young,” Rollins said. “We recognize the level of service and commitment through Officer Joe Williams’ tenure with the department. We thank the Williams’ family because they’re the ones who are always loaning us an officer Williams’ throughout the years and we’re very appreciative of the family.

Williams leaves behind four children, 18 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren to carry his legacy.