James Leonard Williams was born May 23, 1934 in Galatia, IL. He died on September 30, 2021 at Carle BroMenn in Normal, IL, with family by his side. He was preceded in death by his parents, Oleon and Ruby Williams, and his sister, Donna Brown. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Madge Williams of Bloomington; his daughter, Lori Williams (Tom Moone) and grandchildren (Marcus and Owen Moone) of Urbana; his son, Brad Williams (Terry Beitz), step grandchildren (Jeremy and Kelley; Jennifer and Ash; Kevin and Aaron and family) of Bloomington and McLean County.
Jim grew up on a farm in Galatia, Illinois and graduated from Galatia High School. As a young boy, he became a Christian, the central commitment of his whole life. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He served in the U.S. Army. He married Madge Reid in Albion, IL on June 20, 1959.
For over 40 years, Jim worked for Country Financial, focusing his public relations efforts on safety: driving safety, fire safety, and especially agriculture safety. He helped found the International Society for Agriculture Safety and Health (ISASH) and worked with University of Illinois Extension on AgrAbility, an organization that provides services and education to help farmers with disabilities continue farming. He volunteered for SCORE and Kiwanis. He loved old barns, coffee with friends, gardening, a good hamburger, time with his family, helping others, and stopping at a farm stand to buy fruit and meet the farm family running it. He knew every place in Illinois to get a good piece of pie. During the pandemic, as always, he was positive, kind, and patient.
Memorials can be made to ISASH, AgrAbility, or Eastview Christian Church.
Services will be at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, October 8, 2021 at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Bloomington with Rev. Gary York officiating. Masks and distancing will be required.
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