Cecil Williams

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Clarence Cecil Williams

(Louisiana journalist)

Political party Democrat-turned-Republican

Born July 1922
McRoberts, Letcher Cunty, Kentucky
Died April 30, 2008
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Spouse Patricia "Pat" Conners Williams

Clarence Cecil Williams, known as Cecil Williams (July 1922 – April 30, 2008), was a Kentucky-born journalist on the staff of The Alexandria Daily Town Talk in Alexandria, Louisiana, from 1955 to 1987. He began as a reporter and became assistant managing editor under Adras P. LaBorde. His most significant work was as business editor and columnist. He continued his popular column "Business Talk" for several years after retiring. During much of his tenure, the publisher was Joe D. Smith, Jr.

Williams was born and reared in the census designated place of McRoberts in Letcher County in the coal-mining area of eastern Kentucky adjacent to the Virginia border. After high school, he worked for the coal company dispensing dynamite and blasting caps to miners. He was also seasonally employed in tobacco production.[1]

In 1942, with the advent of World War II, Williams enlisted in the United States Navy and served for a year as a radio operator on board the minesweeper USS Scout, which escorted convoys across the North Atlantic. For his work, he received the American Campaign Medal. Williams then served in the Mediterranean Sea and obtained the European-African-Mideast Campaign Medal. After victory in Europe, he was stationed in the Aleutian Islands as part of the preparation for the invasion of Japan, for which he received the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal. After the war ended, Williams remained in the Navy Reserves. He attended the University of Kentucky in Lexington under the G.I. Bill of Rights and graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism. Williams was recalled to active duty and stationed in New Orleans for the duration of the Korean War.[2]

Williams was president of the Central Louisiana Press Club from 1969 to 1970, and he received numerous awards, including a United Press International first place designation in 1976 for "Outstanding Personal Column". In 1977, he was a runner-up in competition for outstanding business column by the University of Missouri at Jefferson City. That same year, he placed first for specialized coverage by the Louisiana Press Association. In 1978, Williams was honored by two trade associations, the Louisiana Agricultural Chemical Association and the Plant Food Education Society, for his "Outstanding Promotion of Agriculture" in The Town Talk. In 1982, he won the annual press award from the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation. In 1985-1986, he won first place for his personal column from UPI Newspapers in Louisiana.[2]

In 1951, Williams married the former Patricia "Pat" Conners (January 3, 1929 – December 30, 2007),[3] originally from New Orleans. She was an employee in the Louisiana State Office Building in Alexandria. The Williamses moved to Alexandria when he joined The Town Talk. They had four children: Frances W. Woodiel and her husband, Christopher Davis Woodiel, and Conners Williams and wife, Debbie, both couples from Baton Rouge; Sean Williams and wife, Vicki, of Vancouver, Washington, and Maurice Williams of Alexandria, and five grandchildren. After his wife's death from cancer, Williams moved to Baton Rouge, where he succumbed to complications of a hip fracture. The couple is interred at Greenoaks Memorial Park in Baton Rouge.[1]