Arthur Williams Sr.

Williams Arthur

Arthur James “Art” Williams, Sr., son of the late Booker T. Williams and Lula Mae Dudley Williams was born on December 13, 1932 in Bessemer, Alabama.  Like many African-American families, Art’s parents slowly migrated North, ending up in Columbus, Ohio when he was 10 years old.  Art was a Columbus Public Schools triple-letter varsity athlete in track, football and basketball graduating from Central High School in 1950.

After serving in the United States Air Force from 1952 – 1956, where he became a boxing champion and coach, Art studied Physical Education at The Ohio State University and earned his Associate’s Degree in Carpentry, Blueprint Reading and Estimating from Chicago Tech.  Art was employed with Columbus Public Schools where he became the 1st African-American Full Carpenter and the 1st African-American Maintenance Supervisor with Columbus Public Schools.  He also taught his trade for evening students at Southeast Career Center for the Central Ohio Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors.

At an early age, with guidance from his mother, Lula Mae, Art professed his faith in Jesus Christ.  He became a charter and dedicated member of Southfield Community Missionary Baptist Church, where he taught Sunday School, sang with the Male Chorus, became President of the Combined Usher Board and Co-Director of the Christian Education Ministry.  During this time, Art met Charlene Patricia Handon, the love of his life, in 1974.  Six months later, Art proposed to Charlene and six months after that, they wed on June 28, 1975.  Until Art could no longer speak, he proudly shared with all who would listen that he was married to Charlene for “42 continuous years”!  Art and Charlene had two children: Christina Marie and Arthur James, Jr.

Out of all of the ministries in which Art participated, ushering was truly his calling.  Art was very actively involved with the Interdenominational Church Ushers Association and the National United Church Ushers Association of America, where he held various leadership positions at the local, state and regional levels including Central Region President.

Art retired from Columbus Public Schools after 34 years of service.  But if anyone knows anything about Art, he could not sit still!  He founded and co-owned WC Remodeling Company, LLC and was a diligent volunteer for Life Care Alliance for several years by delivering daily Meals on Wheels to shut-in seniors.  Art was also the patriarch featured in the Harmony Project’s 2013 documentary entitled “One Family – One Spirit of Columbus” that premiered at the Drexel Theatre to a sold out audience!

Art quietly departed this life on Monday, July 24, 2017 at Altercare of Hilliard with support from OhioHealth Hospice.  Art was preceded in death by his father, Booker T. Williams; his mother, Lula Mae Dudley Williams; and his brothers, Daniel L. Williams and Johnny B. Williams.

As a result of his generous spirit, pleasant personality and godly wisdom, Art influenced and was loved by many. His beautiful life will forever be cherished in the hearts of: his wife, Charlene Handon Williams; daughter, Christina Marie Williams-Ballenger; son, Arthur James (Zakiyyah) Williams, Jr.; sons of a previous marriage, Robert E. Williams, Sr. and John W. Williams; brother, George D. (Kathy) Williams, Sr.; aunt and matriarch of the Dudley family, Flora Dudley Scales; brother-in-law, William (Rose) Handon; sister-in-law, Mary L. McClendon; grandchildren, Courtney Moriah Ballenger, Corey Jameson  “CJ” Ballenger, Laila Williams, Arthur James “AJ” Williams III and a host of devoted nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Visitation 10:00 a.m. Funeral Service 11:00 a.m. Monday, July 31, 2017 at Southfield Community Missionary Baptist Church, 1399 Augmont Ave.

Interment Glen Rest Memorial Estate. 

In addition, memorial donations in honor of Arthur Williams, Sr. can be made to the National Kidney Foundation or send to 30 E. 33rd Street New York, NY.

Condolence Messages

  1. Byrd Prillerman IV

    It was an honor to know Mr. Williams, he was a wealth of knowledge and encouragement. He always had an encouraging word for me. My prayers are with the family

  2. Shalaba Sanders & Family

    I am so sorry for your loss. Just know that I am continuously praying for your family. Your father has fulfilled his purpose here in the physical world and has left a lifetime legacy behind!

  3. Jeannette Johnson

    My deepest condolences to my Dear Sister Chritina Ballenger and her family . Continuous Prayers and hugs. Love you Family ❤️

  4. Sending my condolences to you, Christina and your family today. I will keep you all in my uppermost thoughts.

  5. Tammy Green& The Green family

    I’m so sorry for your loss. It was an honor to know Bro. Williams, always smiling and encouraging. Continuous prayers for your family.❤

  6. Christina McLemore

    Praying for you all during this season of loss. What a life and now a legacy he has left behind…To God be the Glory for the Great Things He has done!!

    Christina Crews-McLemore

  7. Georgia Morgan

    Dear Charlene & family,
    I was very sorry to learn of Art’s passing. Sending my sincere condolences and will keep you in prayer.

  8. Christina,
    I am so sorry to learn of your father’s passing. My heart aches for you and your family. I’m praying for all of you during this transition. My condolences…

  9. Iris (Nimmons) Wallace

    My deepest condolences and continued prayers for you and your family.

  10. RIP Cuz Art, you were always inspirational, and provided positive influence at the right time in my life. How well I remember your return home from the military when I was a young teenager. Your dress and appearance in your uniform, inspired me to follow in your footsteps. Thank you for being you. RIP

  11. Tim and Juliet Williams

    Charlene- we are so deeply sorry to learn of Art’s passing. Know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Tim and Juliet Williams

  12. Phillip C. Shepherd and Family

    It was such a joy to know Art and his family. I will treasure our conversations over the Men’s Fellowship Breakfasts over the years. Rest easy my friend! My condolences to Charlene and family.

  13. Erica Johnson

    My deepest condolences to the Williams family. To know him is to love him. He was an awesome man of God and always a humble person. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord… I am keeping the family in prayer. May Gods comfort keep you in this difficult time…

  14. Steven l.Craig Sr

    Art Im just a ol Country Boy with his smile that mad you feel at home wisdom he passed on will live forever .I’ll miss you my friend ,Service Brother Aim High i salute you condolence to the Family .May God watch over you during this time of sorrow

  15. Stephanie K. Starks

    My condolences to you and your family during this difficult time. Prayers of love, peace and comfort for you.

  16. Mother Charlene, Christina and the entire Family, “Those We Love Remain with us for love itself lives on and cherished memories never fade because our loved ones gone. Those we love can never be more than a thought apart. For as long as there is a memory they’ll live on in our hearts.” – author unknown
    May Mr. Arts memory remain in our hearts and minds forever. Such a beautiful spirit will never be forgotten.
    My condolences

  17. David and Marlene Tucker

    Sending condolences from New Jersey to Charlene, Chrissy, Art Jr., Mr. William and Dr. Rose Handon May the peace of God be with you and the family.

  18. Yolanda Paulding-Williams and family

    I am sending condolences from your Bessemer, AL family. Arthur James will forever be remembered. May the peace and understanding of the Holy Spirit comfort my Ohio family. God Bless.

  19. Tamika (Vinson) Reid & Family

    Our prayers, condolences and sympathies to your entire family as you process this loss. Mr. Williams was a gracious, generous and humble spirit. As Christina’s college roommate, he (and Mrs. Charlene) welcomed me with open arms into the family. May God’s peace comfort and strengthen you in this time. Love, always!

  20. Debbie R. Dudley

    Charlene and the rest of the family, Arthur James was truly a blessing to our family. I send condolences from “Sheilie”‘s family down south.

  21. Daniel Williams

    Iam sending my condolence to.the williams from williams here in Columbus ohio you are in my prays bless you though times in need. Daniel l williams jr.

  22. Bret & Dawn Holbrook

    Art will be truly missed. He was such a man after God’s heart and loved his family. May you all have peace and comfort with wonderful memories of him. Peace be with you, Bret and Dawn Holbrook

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