Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home

11801 San Jose Blvd, Jacksonville, FL


Bertha Jeanne Williams

September 10, 1928July 30, 2020

Bertha Jeanne (BJ) Wonicker Williams (b. September 10, 1928), passed away peacefully at home on July 30, 2020, in Tega Cay, SC. Bertha Jeanne was born to Ruby Duckworth Wonicker and Otto Wonicker in Jacksonville, Florida. She graduated from Landon High School (Class of 1947), and upon graduation went to work for the Florida National Bank. In 1950 she married her high school sweetheart, Robert (Bob) C. Williams Jr. They were married until his death in 2006, and had three daughters together, Pam, Melodie, and Ginger.

Bertha Jeanne was a life-long member of Swaim United Methodist Church, and taught Sunday School there for approximately 40 years. Her church friends were the staple of her social life, and provided much support throughout her life.

Bertha Jeanne worked many jobs, always as a secretary, but found the most joy and fulfillment working at Sunny Acres in the 1970s and 80s, and Cerebral Palsy of Jacksonville, until she retired. A generous person, B.J. gave her time and energy to causes she cared about, especially the mentally and physically challenged.

B. J. was a great cook and seamstress, and enjoyed being a good homemaker. She loved bargain shopping, going to movies, reading Florida history, gardening, watching Jeopardy, and visiting the North Carolina Mountains with her husband, and going to the beach.

As a parent, B.J. was a caring mother and set high standards for her children. At times she spoiled us, but she taught us the value of hard work. She didn’t let us say ain’t, and a list of other bad words, and expected us to speak “good” English around the house. She didn’t believe in sleeping in, and on Saturdays she would have a long list of chores for us to do before we were set free. She became a grandmother for the first time at age 67, and cherished every minute with her grandchildren, travelling cross-country to visit them, and instilled in them a love of fried chicken and grits.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her eldest daughter, and two brothers, and is survived by her daughters, Melodie (Hanspeter) Bretscher, and Ginger Williams, her two sisters, Mari Riggins (Ray), and Martha Duensing (Charles), two grandchildren, Max and Pamela Bretscher, and a host of nieces, and nephews. There will be a private burial on Monday, August 3, and a Celebration of Life in May 2021, after the pandemic is over. The Celebration of Life will take place at the San Marco Church, (formally Swaim United Methodist Church) 1600 Naldo Avenue. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the San Marco Church.

Arrangements by Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home of Mandarin, 11801 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, FL (904) 288-0025.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Bertha Jeanne Williams

have a memory or condolence to add?

Stacey Pierce

August 5, 2020

Jeanne and Bobby were the first neighbors we met when we moved to Florida. I didn't know anyone and was entering my junior year in high school. She was so kind and introduced me to Melodie. I was able to ride to school with Melodie and get to know her and the family. Jeanne was a sweet soul and she will be missed. 💙❤️

Leslie Mangano

August 5, 2020

As a college classmate of her daughter, Melodie, Mrs Williams was so sweet and kind to this girl who was a thousand miles away from home. She made wonderful dinners that I was lucky to be included in and she even made me a dress that I coveted from the movie The Deep. Boy did I love that dress! I remember her as a soft spoken, generous, talented woman who was a devoted wife and mom. I always thought Melodie was so blessed to have such a wonderful mom. She lived her life so gracefully. Prayers and hugs to the family.

Wayland "Snookie" Parker

August 3, 2020

Melodie and Ginger, your mother was a wonderful lady. I am saddened to hear this news and pray that the Good Lord gives you comfort knowing that Bertha Jean has safely made passage into the loving arms of our Savior. In the loss of your mother, may her memory comfort you so that she lives always in your heart. May her spirit comfort you so that you always know the peace and promise of eternity. And may the love and thoughts of others console you, so that you know you are not alone. With deepest sympathy and prayers, Snookie

Martha (Markey) Duensing

August 1, 2020

BJ was 14 years old when me and my twin sister were born. We felt so fortunate because we had two mothers. BJ was a big influence in my life and I always wanted to be just like her. BJ, thank you for the sweet memories. I love you and miss you. Markey


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