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Stephen W. Williams

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Stephen W. Williams of Dayton, Ohio, died Nov. 9, 2015, at Friendship Village Senior Center. He was 78 years old.

Stephen was born on Dec. 16, 1936, in Martinsburg, W.Va., to Paul Lawrence and Queenie Taylor Williams, and was the second of three children. During his years in elementary school, Stephen was taught by his grandmother and mother, who both played a central role in his early education. He completed his high school education at Ramer High School in Martinsburg, and afterwards attended West Virginia State University before entering the United States Air Force, where he served honorably for four years. During his tenure in the Air Force, Stephen was stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. While at Wright-Patt, Stephen met and married Anita June Garner, and together they had three children: Jonathan, Perry and Elizabeth Williams.

Stephen later completed his undergraduate degree in biology at Capital University in Columbus. He then served in a variety of capacities within the Veteran’s Administration Hospital system, with assignments in Dayton,  and Martinsburg, W.Va. His 35 years of formal service culminated in an assignment at the West Side Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Chicago, Ill.

Stephen was passionate about civil rights, as evidenced by his participation in the Yellow Springs Human Rights Commission and the Greene County Chapter of the NAACP. He was also a devoted student of jazz music, having amassed a remarkable library and enormous knowledge of the genre. Stephen took pleasure in performing, and was an accomplished musician. He played the piano and saxophone, and enjoyed singing. He was also an impressive artist with a preference for charcoal renderings. Poetry, fishing, carpentry and cooking were among Stephen’s many interests.

Stephen was preceded in death by his parents, and is survived by his siblings Elizabeth Hizer and Paul Williams; his ex-wife Anita Garner-Williams; his children Jonathan, Perry and Elizabeth; and five grandchildren.

Services were held on Friday, Nov. 13, at Newcomer Funeral Home in Dayton, with burial at Dayton National Cemetery. Condolences can be expressed to the family at


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