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Leon Wayne Williams, age 92, of Grand Rapids, joyfully put his hand in the Man from Galilee on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. He was born in Ft. Wayne, Indiana on May 6, 1924 to the parents of Elmer and Mae (Martz) Williams.

Leon was preceded in death by his loving wife of 67 years, Jean; and sister, Alice Kaledo. Leon is survived by his daughter, Janice Williams; two sons, Jeffery (Donna) Williams, and Kirk Williams; two grandchildren, Jeffrey A. and Sara Jean; brother, Ralph; sister, Patricia Splan; brother-in-law, John (Sharon) Kirkpatrick; and many nieces and nephews.

Leon served in the U.S Army during WWII. He was a decorated combat Veteran awarded with the Bronze Service Star and two Purple Hearts. He was held as a P.O.W. in Germany from December 1944 until May 1945, having been captured at the Battle of the Bulge.  He was discharged with the rank of Sergeant. He joined the Grand Rapids Fire Dept., in December of 1948 and retired in 1986 as the Fire Chief.  In 1986, Leon and Jean moved to their retirement home in Fife Lake. There they became active members of the Fife Lake United Methodist Church and he became a certified Lay Speaker. He also served many of his retired years with the Traverse City DeColores Ministry and the Keryx Prison Ministry.

Honoring his wishes cremation will take place. To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Leon’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:
Arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids. 


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4 Condolences

  1. Mike and Margaret Birgy on May 3, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    We are so sorry to hear of Leon’s passing but happy that he and Jeannie are together again. We consider them both dear friends. Jean hosted our Womens Group for years and Mike was involved in a men’s bible study with Leon, served in Decolores with him and also the Keryx prison ministry. Our thoughts and prayer are with his family

  2. Ron Fuller on May 4, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Janice, Jeff and Kirk, please accept my condolences on the death of your father. He was a wonderful man and I will always remember him as a great neighbor. Best wishes, Ron and Gail.

  3. don carver on May 7, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    my son KIA 12-26-2005. kalidyah,Iraq brought greater awareness to my life for military.After reading Leons obit I couldn’t help but respond.His life should be written about in books or made a movie of.Very proud of this american. What an amazing story of courage and faith in God. I salute Sgt.Leon Williams. You have raised the bar for the rest of us.God can bring us through many trials. amen.

  4. Valerie McInerney on May 10, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Leon (and Jean) were such special people to both myself and my husband. They were wonderful examples, great friends, second parents and a blessing. We treasure the times we spent together in Church, in Bible study, sharing a meal and serving on De Colores. He will be missed by many but we know where he is and that we will see him again some great day. God Bless all of his children and grandchildren, may they walk in his footsteps that he left behind.

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