On February 28, 1945, Almighty God blessed the world when Miriam C. Williams was born, the fourth child, baby girl, and only daughter of Emanuel Cathey and Ada Proctor Cathey. Miriam C. Williams, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and inspiration to all, victoriously departed this life and transitioned into her eternal reward on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, at her home in Jackson, Mississippi.
Her parents raised Miriam and her brothers in the Lord. She gave her life to Jesus Christ at an early age, and as an adult, ministry permeated every aspect of her life. Miriam was known and will be remembered as a generous and kind woman who loved her family and loved others but most of all, loved God. She lived her life to give God glory and found great joy in sharing His love and His Word with others.
Growing up on her parents’ farm in Rankin County, Mississippi, Miriam was often found following closely in tow behind her big brothers. Between chores and church with her family, Miriam was a good student. She graduated from Carter High School and followed her brothers Clark and Curtiss to Tougaloo College, where she majored and received her Bachelors Degree in Education in 1967. From her farm roots, Miriam also developed a love for gardening and animals, which was reflected in her always having a garden of fresh vegetables, housing multiple pets, and meticulously caring for her yard, being recognized as having the “Yard of the Month” many times over the years.
It was at Tougaloo College where Miriam met the love of her life, her one and only, Thornell Williams, Sr., a tall, dark, and handsome Math major and basketball player. Shortly after graduating from Tougaloo, Miriam accepted Thornell’s proposal of marriage, and they were wed on August 18, 1968. Thornell and Miriam remained in Jackson, Mississippi where they bought a home, worked as educators, and started their family of four children.
While she spent some years as a stay-at-home mom dedicating herself fully to her young children, Miriam was a lifelong educator with a decades-long career as a teacher with the Jackson Public Schools District. Whether at home with her children or in the classroom with her students, Miriam believed in developing one’s mind through education, and she practiced what she preached. Miriam extended her own education and earned advanced degrees while working and raising a family. She obtained a Masters Degree in 1985 and a Specialist Degree in 1986, both from Jackson State University.
Aside from her professional service as an educator, Miriam demonstrated God’s love by consistent service of others. She selflessly put the needs of others before her own, and her virtue in this regard ultimately was recognized when former Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove identified and appointed Miriam as a Commissioner of the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service. She demonstrated this in her church life as well, faithfully serving in various ministries, including prison ministry and community evangelism ministry with The Church of the City. Most recently, Miriam had become a member of Word Alive Church and Communion House, where she was a recognized intercessor, teacher, and counselor, and generously made herself and anything she had available to help those in need.
Miriam C. Williams always prioritized and preached the importance of family. Her home was the primary destination for all family during the holidays and represented the unofficial summer camp for her grandchildren every year. Nephew, nieces, and godchildren also loved spending time at “Aunt Miriam’s” house! Miriam absolutely loved her family and now has been reunited with those family members who preceded her in death, including Thornell Williams, Sr. (beloved husband), Emanuel Cathey (father), Ada Cathey (mother), Clark Cathey (brother), Curtiss Cathey (brother), Nathaniel Cathey (brother), and Denella Williams (daughter).
Miriam leaves behind to cherish her memory, honor her legacy, and live this life so that we see her again, her son Thornell Williams, Jr. (Jackie), daughter Keshia Stephens (Nick), daughter Daphney Mills (Reggie); nine grandchildren: V. Sharell Williams, Daleth W. Williams, T. Stone Williams, III, McKenzie C. Stephens, Arial J. Stephens, Kori J. Mills, Nicholas M. Stephens, Samantha R. Williams, and Kai A. Mills; and a host of nephews, nieces, great nephews, great nieces, and other relatives and friends.
Viewing for Mrs. Miriam C. Williams will begin on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at Peoples Funeral Home, 886 North Farish Street, Jackson, Mississippi from 1:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.
Funeral services for Mrs. Miriam C. Williams will be at Peoples Funeral Home Chapel, 886 North Farish Street, Jackson, Mississippi at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 22, 2021 with her Final Resting Place being Williams Family Cemetery, Livingston Road, Ridgeland, Mississippi.
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