James 'Jimmy' Byron Williams, a beloved father, grandfather, community leader, Mayor of Sibley, businessman and friend, passed away on Saturday, January 20, 2024, at the age of 68.
Services will be held at the First Baptist Church in Minden at 1 p.m., Thursday, January 25, 2024. Pastor Keith Mariott will perform the service, with burial following at Lane Memorial Cemetery in Sibley. Visitation will be held Wednesday, January 24 starting at 5 p.m. at Rose Neath Funeral Home in Minden.
Jimmy was born on June 6, 1955, in Minden to Wayne Wynn Williams, Sr. and Irene Botkins Williams. After successfully battling Multiple Myeloma for the past 5 years, no one expected that it would be Jimmy’s loving and generous heart that would take him from us while sitting at home watching an NFL football game.
Jimmy loved his community and had dedicated the last 20 years to the Town of Sibley. He was serving as the mayor of Sibley, a position he had held since 2009 after serving on the Sibley Board of Alderman for four years. The continuing impact of his service to Sibley will continue to be felt for decades by its residents. Some of his many achievements include improving the Sibley water system, bringing new business and opportunities to the town and the creation of a new subdivision at the north entrance of the town.
In 2019, he was elected as President of the Louisiana Municipal Association (LMA), serving as the state’s leading advocate for villages, towns and cities. As a result of the COVID pandemic, he served in the role an extra year and received the LMA’s President’s Award in 2022, the highest award given by the organization, for his efforts. Jimmy was a member of the LMA Executive Committee and had previously served as LMA’s First Vice-President, Second Vice-President and District A Vice-President.
His work as mayor and with the LMA allowed him to travel and see the country while representing Louisiana and Sibley. One of his proudest moments as LMA President was the honor of laying the wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery. Jimmy never met a stranger, always had a great story to tell and counted the many mayors, elected officials and municipal employees that he met over the years as friends.
When his brother Butch opened Minden Athletic in 1973, Jimmy became one of its original employees and would continue to be a vital part of the business by helping manage the store for the following 50 years. In 1976, Jimmy helped the business to temporarily expand, helping open and serve as manager of Springhill Athletic. Over the past 50 years, Jimmy served as a manager, headed up team sales, constructed trophies, helped bring the first computers to the store and completed many construction projects. He would start his own business, Williams Silkscreen, printing a countless number of athletic team uniforms, t-shirts and P.E. Uniforms over the years.
Jimmy was a proud member of the 1972 Minden High School State Championship Baseball Team, having recently helped organize a 50th reunion for the team. His love of baseball continued, playing for the Minden Redbirds and coaching the Wiley Pevy Post 74 American Legion team, where he challenged umpires for 30 years.
He loved the Lord and often would quote and share scripture with others. He was an active member of the Minden Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder and was always willing to use his handyman skills to help improve the facilities.
His greatest achievement and joy in life was his family and serving as “Poppie” to his grandchildren, whom he loved to give a ride around the neighborhood and on the farm in his golf cart. He would use any excuse to spend time with his children and grandchildren, often suggesting getting together for a good meal. His house was always open as a gathering place, especially during the holidays. Hearing the unique nicknames he gave his grandchildren, nephews and nieces will be missed, as well as his love for twirling their hair.
He was preceded in death by his parents, as well as his brother Wayne “Butch” Wynn Williams, Jr. his in-laws Sid and Marilyn Killgore of Homer and brother-in-law Scott Killgore.
Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Suzanne Killgore Williams; daughters Christin Williams Robinson and husband Thomas of Sibley; and Jennifer Williams Kirk and husband Alex of Dubberly; son Jay Williams and wife Jennifer Tuggle Williams of Sibley, grandchildren, Braeden Robinson and wife Stormi Harrell Robinson of Heflin; Sydney Robinson of Sibley; Gemi Robinson of Sibley; Arley Robinson of Sibley; Raven Kirk of Dubberly; Savannah Kirk of Dubberly; Willow Kirk of Dubberly; Cade Williams of Opelousas and Tillie Williams of Sibley; Sister-in-law Ki Williams of Minden and brother-in-law Grant Killgore and wife Charlene of Homer; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers are Zach Killgore, Winky Newer, Lance Roberts, Robert Smart, Chris Williams, Greg Williams and Trey Williams.
Honorary pallbearers are John Collins, Pat Culverhouse, David Dumas, the Sibley Board of Aldermen members, teammates of the 1972 MHS baseball team, all former teammates and players, LMA Mayors and Municipal Employees, and current and former employees of Minden Athletic.
The family would like to thank Dr. Chris Earnhardt, Dr. Manish Dhawan and their staff for the care they provided over the past few years.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Minden Presbyterian Church.