June 27, 1937 – March 5, 2019
Marinell Williams – A Life Celebrated “To love another person is to see the face of God.” ~ Victor Hugo
On Tuesday, March 5, 2019 in Houston, TX, Marinell “Missye” Williams, 81 years young, peacefully entered her heavenly home after suffering a major stroke. Marinell was born in Hodge, Louisiana on Sunday, June 27, 1937 and is preceded in death by her parents Lieutenant Colonel James L. Watts and Jessie B. Watts and sister Jean Laurin Watts. Key family survivors include her husband of 59 years J. Lamar Williams of Houston, TX, daughter Deborah J. (Williams) Abel of Hewitt, TX, son-in-law Don W. Abel of Hewitt, TX, son Jeffrey L. Williams of The Woodlands, TX, grandson Eric H. Abel of San Marcos, TX, grandson Matthew E. Abel of Waco, TX and great-grandson C. Huxley Abel of Hewitt, TX.
Marinell attended Jonesboro-Hodge High School in Jonesboro, LA and graduated from University High School in Columbia, SC, where she was a featured baton twirler at football games. She attended college at the University of Maryland campus in Munich, Germany for two and a half years where she was a member of the German club and the Ski club, on the staff of the Bavarian Terrapin annual, an accompanist for the touring Glee club, and head cheerleader for the United States Army, Munich. She transferred to Louisiana State University (LSU), where she served as a transfer advisor and was nominated for LSU Darling. In August 1959, Marinell received a Bachelor of Science degree in Math Education.
Marinell met the love of her life at a Valentine’s Day dance held at University Presbyterian Church on the LSU campus. After becoming engaged six weeks later, she wed Lamar Williams on October 10, 1959 in Pelahatchie, Mississippi. Their honeymoon was spent in Washington state, where they then first settled, with Marinell teaching math to middle schoolers in Pacific Beach.
During her married life, Marinell lived in a variety of locations including Pacific Beach, WA, Ventura, CA, Roswell, NM, Midland, TX, Sydney, Australia, and Houston, TX. She was involved in local churches in her areas of residence including First Baptist of Roswell, NM, First Baptist of Midland, TX, Hornsby Baptist in Sydney, Australia, and Tallowood Baptist in Houston, TX. Her service and ministry in the churches included teaching bible study, directing Girls in Action (GA), directing Sunday School classes, serving on staff during summer Sunday School week in Glorieta, NM, singing in choirs and a ladies ensemble (Joyful Sound), starting and leading a children’s choir program, and playing hand bells. Marinell loved the Lord and honored Him with her servant leadership.
In living her life, Marinell helped to provide a strong spiritual foundation for her marriage and would often ask “what would God want?” when faced with life decisions. One of her endearing traits was her love of the underdog and those ignored. Her acts of mercy toward others were carried out without a desire for attention; her joy came from knowing she was honoring God in such moments. She also had a gift of hospitality, as seen through her enjoyment of, and success at, hosting events such as bridge parties, outreach/fellowship outings, and dinner parties at her home. Marinell leaves a legacy of determination, faith, and love and will be remembered for her strong-willed personality and spunk. She loved her family, and in her homemaker role, Marinell’s support of her children’s various activities and endeavors as well as her encouragement as a godly mother are appreciated by her children.
Growing up as a self-proclaimed “army brat” afforded Marinell the opportunity to live in many interesting locations around the world such as Japan, Germany, and the United States. During her marriage, her love of traveling was evidenced through trips and cruises to favorite destinations such as Australia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Holy Land, the Caribbean, New England, Alaska, Hawaii, and New Mexico.
As a multi-faceted woman, Marinell expressed her creative talents through a variety of endeavors. Her love of cooking was enjoyed by all who had the opportunity to taste the results. In addition to pottery making, she also established a small business called “Creations in Stained Glass”. Her colorful and beautiful pieces of glass artwork currently adorn a variety of windows and doors. She found sewing to be a relaxing hobby and designed many garment pieces without a pattern. She also had a love of gardening, particularly planting colorful flowers in her yard, and was active in the Wilchester Garden Club in Houston. Her creativeness overflowed and was evidenced through whatever her hands touched.
Marinell’s family would like to express gratitude for the exceptional love and care recently provided by the Houston Methodist West Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit staff. In addition, the family is grateful for the continual care provided by Dr. James Muntz, her primary care doctor, who often called Marinell his “feisty” patient. Finally, the family is grateful for Tallowood Baptist Church members and other fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who supported and encouraged Marinell during her earthly journey.
Pallbearers include Jeffrey L. Williams (son), Don W. Abel (son-in-law), John Paul DeFrank (second cousin), Joe Pyrek (second cousin), Phil Hopper, Ken Kunze, Jim Meyerhoff, and W. L. Pullin.
A visitation open to all will be held on Sunday, March 17, 2019 from 5 p.m. through 8 p.m. at Memorial Oaks Funeral Home (13001 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77079). A private burial service will occur the morning of Monday, March 18 at Robert L. Waltrip Memorial Chapel and then graveside at Memorial Oaks Cemetery (same location as Memorial Oaks Funeral Home). A Celebratory Memorial service open to all will occur on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 3 p.m. at Tallowood Baptist Church (555 Tallowood Rd, Houston, TX 77024).
To honor the life and memory of Marinell, flowers may be sent to Memorial Oaks Funeral Home (denote “in memory of Marinell Williams”). Alternatively or in addition to flowers, a donations may be sent to the Music Ministry of Tallowood Baptist Church (denote “in memory of Marinell Williams”). Fond memories of Marinell and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.memorialoaksfunerals.com.
- Jeffery L. Williams
- Don W. Abel
- John Paul DeFrank
- Joe Pyrek
- Phil Hopper
- Ken Kunze
- Jim Meyerhoff
- W.L. Pullin
- Visitation Sunday, March 17, 2019
- Memorial Service Monday, March 18, 2019
March 21, 2019
I was saddened today to learn about Mrs. Williams passing away. I always enjoyed when she would come into my Wild Birds Unlimited store and talk about the birds in her yard. I will miss that.
March 18, 2019
Just learned today about Marinell....so sorry to learn of her death.
I have so many great memories of our times together at Tallowood Baptist Church and our wonderful times in Joyful Sound.
Sending love and prayers to her family.
Barbara Ann Mayo
March 15, 2019
Marinell had a huge impact on my life. She and my mother, Barbara Spottswood, were the closest of friends. I remember trips to Kinda Crazy, a dress shop, in Houston to pick out clothes for Debbie and me to wear to school that week. (our Mother's were very stylish) Marinell, the fabulous hostess, gave me my engagement party when I married Mike. She was always with mother when I was growing up- such an encourager , and huge support in my life. Mother told me Marinell was so much fun, lived life to the fullest. They sang in The Joyful Sound together. And I remember many of their performances. Mom and Marinell enjoyed performing. Marinell had beautiful eyes that twinkled with love. She was a dear, loyal, trustworthy friend of mother's- like a sister really. She and Lamar set a wonderful example of a Godly marriage. Debbie and Jeff- you are near to my heart. I remember many times at my home mother and Marinell sharing stories, dreams, heartache and laughter. I am so thankful for all the wonderful memories.