Judith Kiely Williams

Published 4:04 pm Monday, December 19, 2022

Judith Kiely Williams, of Marietta, passed away on Dec. 13. A Celebration of her life will be held on Dec. 23 at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church with Revs. Joe Evans, Paul Sherwood and Jim Speed officiating. Visitation will be immediately following the service in the Gathering Space. Burial will be private. Born in Ft. Bragg, N.C. in 1941, Judy moved to Vicksburg, MS when her father returned from WWII. Her senior superlative at H.V. Cooper High School was “Most Dignified,” and that title suited her perfectly. She graduated from Hollins College with a degree in English. Judy met her husband Harrison when he chaperoned a freshman dance as a Corps Cadet at Virginia Tech. They married in August 1962 so they could be together during Harrison’s service, but the Army had other plans. While Harrison went to Korea, Judy returned home to Vicksburg for the first 15 months of their marriage; they communicated via letters and audiotapes. They lived in Texas and Florida before returning to Roanoke, Virginia so Judy could finish college. A professor had told Judy she wouldn’t finish college if she left to get married, but she was proud to prove him wrong. Harrison accepted a position with Lockheed in 1965, and they made a wonderful life together in Marietta for the rest of their lives. Since they were far from their families, they made their cherished Sunday School class friends into chosen family. They shared beach trips, church family camps, and many European trips together. As a member of First Presbyterian Church, Judy was an ordained Deacon who taught Sunday School, and planned family camps; volunteered for Buddy Break, MUST lunch making, and Martha Ministry; and served on the Chancel Guild, Wedding Guild, and History Committee. She and Harrison co-chaired the Building Committee which resulted in the building of the Speed Hall addition in the 1990s. She co-owned the Needle Nook of Marietta, co-founded Sew Fine Designs, and assisted Harrison with management of their rental properties. Judy was a member of the Cobb-Marietta Junior League, President and Secretary of Friends of Brumby Hall, and active in Mountain Laurel Garden Club, Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society, and various other civic organizations. She served on the Board of Trustees for Promina Northwest Hospice from 1993-1997 and was a Paul Harris Fellow. The role she relished most was as “Gam” to her granddaughters; she loved any time with them whether it was taking them to St. Simons, her lake house, or playing in her garden. Judy maintained a positive and helpful attitude and sense of fun even as she suffered health setbacks in her last two years. She loved gardening, reading, travel, shopping, and her dogs, and was a wonderful cook who loved trying new recipes. She is predeceased by her beloved husband Harrison and parents Dorothy and Jim Kiely. Judy is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law Ginny and Steve Little and Melissa and Parker Gilbert; granddaughters Katie Little, Caroline Little, Anna Little, Kiely Gilbert, and Maggie Gilbert; brother Jack Kiely and sister-in-law Mary Kiely; brother-in-law Gary Williams, sister-in law Mary Frances Williams; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. The family is so grateful to the staff of Horizons at the Oaks at West Cobb, Penney Williams, Ashley Lassiter, Laurie Gazaway, Inspire Hospice, her April birthday friends, and her many caregivers and friends for their care of and friendship to her. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 189 Church Street, Marietta 30060 or www.fpcmarietta.com; the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; the Marietta Educational Garden Center, or any charity of choice.

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