Butch Williams

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Wayne Wynn "Butch" Williams, Jr.

(Louisiana educator and
Webster Parish superintendent)


Born June 21, 1947
Haynesville, Claiborne Parish

Louisiana
Long-term resident of
Minden, Louisiana

Political Party Republican
Spouse Karen Marlowe "Ki" Williams (married 1969-2018, his death)

Sons:
W. W. "Trey" Williams, III
Christopher Marlowe "Chris" Williams
Gregory Kyle "Greg" Williams
Six grandchildren
Parents:
W. W., Sr. and Irene Botkins Williams
Brother:
James Byron Williams

Religion Southern Baptist

Wayne Wynn Williams, Jr., known as Butch Williams (June 21, 1947 – March 21, 2018), was an educator and businessman who served from 2003 to 2011 as the school superintendent in Minden in Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana. He followed three decades later in the footsteps of his father, who was the superintendent from 1971 to 1978.

Background

The older of two sons of W. W. Williams, Sr., and the former Irene Botkins (1921-2015), a native of Kentucky known as "Mama Rene", Williams was born in Haynesville in northern Claiborne Parish while his father was an educator in Shongaloo in Webster Parish, located ten miles from Haynesville. The family relocated to Minden in 1950. He graduated in 1965 from Minden High School, at which he was a class officer and played All-District in basketball baseball, ran track, and played football on the state champion 1963 Minden Crimson Tide team. Williams resided in Minden for nearly all of his life except for his four years at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, where he was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and played football, part of this time as a blocker for Terry Bradshaw, who went on to quarterback four Super Bowl triumphs for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Another of his Louisiana Tech teammates was Larry Brewer, also from Minden. Williams attended Louisiana Tech on an athletic scholarship to play football and earned letters as an offensive tackle from 1966 to 1969 and was named to the All Gulf-States Conference team in 1969. He played in the first two post-season Grantland Rice Bowl games in which Louisiana Tech participated, 1968 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and in 1969 in Baton Rouge.[1]

Career

Even before he received his bachelor's degree in physical education and science, he spent a year as head coach and science teacher at what soon became private school, Glenbrook Academy in Minden. In 1970, a year before his father became the Webster Parish school superintendent, Williams joined the faculty of his alma mater, MHS, where his mother was for thirty-four years the school secretary. He taught biology and chemistry. He was an assistant football coach and head baseball coach. In his second season in 1972, he coached MHS baseball to the state AAA championship over rival Bossier High School in Bossier City. He continued to coach summer baseball for more than thirty years, including two decades for the local American Legion team, for which he led several teams to regional and state appearances. He was active in the push to establish the Minden Recreation Center after he witnessed practicing in parking lots because of the lack of proper facilities. Williams sat on the recreation committee that eventually got voters to approve the complex, located off Interstate 20 near the Northwest Louisiana Technical College.[2] In 1973, Williams partnered with the veterinarian Dr. Tom K. Alley (1924-2016), a native of Montgomery County, Texas,[3] in the establishment of Minden Athletic Supply Company. He left education for two years to concentrate of the business.[1]

In 1975 and 1982, Williams procured his master's degree and thirty additional graduate hours, respectively, in educational administration, again from Louisiana Tech. In 1977, he returned to professional education to teach biology and chemistry at the former Sibley High School in Sibley south of Minden. In 1979, he spent six weeks as an assistant principal at Minden High School before he was appointed by the Webster Parish School Board as the principal at Sibley. That school was relocated to the south and renamed Lakeside Junior and Senior High School. He remained at Sibley and Lakeside for a total of twenty-four years. In 2001, he was named "Louisiana State Principal of the Year". The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company also named him its "Principal of the Year" for the state of Louisiana. From 2003 until his retirement in March 2011, he was the parish superintendent, following in his father's footsteps.[1] The senior Williams was superintendent from 1971 to 1978. As superintendent, Williams oversaw the consolidation or rebuilding of schools throughout the parish, including Minden (2007), North Webster, and Doyline high schools. In 2005, the Louisiana 4-H Youth Development Program presented with the "4-H Superintendent’s Award", and he was inducted in 2008 into the Louisiana 4-H Hall of Fame.[2]

Williams' father was the Webster Parish superintendent during desegregation and consolidation in the 1970s,[4] a period of time which Williams referred to as "turmoil." Williams said that his father "had a lot of influence on what I did for a living", Williams said in a 2011 interview. Williams noted that voters must have approved of his own administration of schools because they voted on nine occasions for all bond issues and property tax renewals while he was superintendent: "And we did not lose one election. Not many superintendents can say that."[5]

Legacy

Louisiana state Representative Gene Reynolds, a Democrat from Dubberly and the former head of the state house Democratic caucus, was a former colleague and an honorary pallbearer at Williams' funeral. Reynolds said that his friend "always put others above himself, and I don’t know of a higher compliment you can pay than that. ... The kids saw that, too. You were a better person because you knew him. He always saw the good in people. Butch was a great man.”[1]

Current Webster Parish Superintendent Johnny Rowland, Jr., a pallbearer at Williams' funeral, recalled how Williams exerted a major influence on his life and career:

He was my high school principal while I attended Sibley High School. He was a teacher and coach at Sibley, and then Lakeside. He was my superintendent when I was a principal at Lakeside. To say he has had a tremendous influence is an understatement.

His positive, uplifting personality always inspired others. He saw the glass half-full all the time. ... He was a tough man with a strong work ethic, that had a kind and gentle heart. ... His love for students and taking care of their needs, mattered most to him. He thought all of the students he encountered had a chance to succeed.“ I witnessed him, time and time again, give to his students out of his own pocket. Because of this love for children, he touched thousands of lives during his career.”[1]

Nico Van Thyn, former sports editor of The Shreveport Times and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, wrote in a blog of Williams: "Whether it was in athletics, as a player and coach, or in education, as a teacher or administrator, he met with success -- and earned respect."[5] Van Thyn, who met Williams at Louisiana Tech in the fall of 1965, penned a well-written on his blog to salute the career of his friend, noting that the cancer, which took Williams' life, was a much tougher opponent than a football team.[6]

At Louisiana Tech, Williams met his wife, the former Karen "Ki" Marlowe of Mangham in Richland Parish in northeastern Louisiana. The couple wed on April 3, 1969, and had have three sons, W. W. "Trey" Williams, III, of Baton Rouge, Christopher Marlowe "Chris" Williams of Minden, and Gregory Kyle "Greg" Williams of Shreveport, and six grandchildren. Williams died after more than a ten-year battle with cancer at the age of seventy. Services were held at the First Baptist Church in Minden on March 25, 2018, with pastor Leland Crawford officiating. Burial followed in Gardens of Memory Cemetery, also the resting place of his parents.[2]

Namesake son "Trey" Williams, III, is the senior director of marketing at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge. From 2006 to 2008, he was the communications director for Republican former U.S. Representative and former Governor Bobby Jindal. From 2008 to 2014, he was communications director in the Jindal administration for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.[7]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 David Specht, Jr. (March 22, 2018). Former educator 'Butch' Williams passes. The Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved on March 24, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Mr. Wayne "Butch" Williams, Jr. obituary. The Minden Press-Herald (March 23, 2018). Retrieved on March 24, 2018.
  3. Dr. Tom K. Alley. Old.findagrave.com. Retrieved on March 24, 2018.
  4. Wayne Wynn Williams, former School Superintendent dies at 83. The Minden Press-Herald reprinted in Mindenmemories.org (September 18, 2000). Retrieved on March 22, 2018.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Greg Hilburn (March 22, 2018). 'Butch' Williams, longtime educator dies. The Monroe News-Star (USA Today Network). Retrieved on March 24, 2018.
  6. Nico Van Thyn (March 20, 2018). Once a Knight: Butch Williams' life has been one of achievement. Nvanthyn.blogspot.com. Retrieved on March 26, 2018.
  7. Trey Williams: Professional Profile. LinkedIn.com. Retrieved on March 22, 2018.