James Arthur Williams was born on December 4, 1931 in New Orleans, Louisiana to the late Velma and James Arthur Williams, Sr.
Prior to him saving the life of a young girl, James was baptized at St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana and remained a faithful member until he moved after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He continued his faithful membership with the Inspiring Body of Christ under Pastor Rickie G. Rush in Dallas Texas. He loved his church family and his church family loved him and lovingly called him Grady from the sitcom Sandford and Son.
He is preceded in death by two sisters, Shirley M. Johnson-Payton and Geraldine Rose Jones and a brother Henry Williams.
He is survived by a host of nieces and nephews as well as great and great-great nieces and nephews. He was affectionately called “Uncle Pa” by all.
Although James did not have any children, he lived with his sister, Geraldine Jones and brother-in-law, Lawrence Jones and was an integral part of the family. He became the family photojournalist, and everyone knew who to go to for a photo and family history.
James had little formal education, he taught himself how to read and write with the help of his nieces and nephews. This is a testament of his character and traits of constant perseverance and resilience and how he approached life. As most people know, once he captured you, you were there for a while. He retired from Chase Bag Company and then later Charity Hospital of New Orleans. It is to be noted that Uncle Pa never missed a day of work, never used a sick day, rain or shine and was never late for over 30 years. For this, he was acknowledged and awarded by the President of Charity Hospital for his attendance.
James passed from complications of COVID-19. Prior to his passing, he told his niece Sandra Jones, whom he lived with at the time, that he was going home. She thought initially that it was his dementia, but later learned that the Holy Spirit made him aware that he was going to his heavenly home. His last words to her were “Love Yourself and I love you”.
Uncle Pa’s favorite scripture was “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand”. Isiah 41:10
His favorite song was his testimony, It’s No Secret What God Can Do by Mahalia Jackson.
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