LAGRANGE, GA. - Col. Thomas Rance “Smut” Williams, Jr. (ret.), passed away on Friday, January 18 at the age of 82.
He was born on November 29, 1936, to the late Thomas Rance Williams, Sr., and Nellie Estelle Shelnutt Williams in Lagrange, GA. He was one of seven children. He was educated in Lagrange city schools and graduated high school at Gordon Military College. He graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA. While his brother was playing football at the University of Georgia, Tom became a lifelong fan of the Bulldogs, and anyone who knew him would say he was “one tough Dawg.”
Tom served in the United States Army National Guard for over 30 years, including tours of duty in Operation Desert Shield/Storm. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1992, having received several decorations including the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Southeast Asia Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit for his service in the Persian Gulf War.
He married Judith Adcock, who passed away in 2008. They raised two children in Douglas, GA, where they were devoted members of the First United Methodist Church.
Tom reconnected with his high school sweetheart, Mary Ann Traylor Williams of Lagrange, GA, in 2013, and the couple were married in 2015.
Tom is survived by his wife, Mary Ann; his son, Bret Williams of Douglas, GA; his daughter, Karen Williams Schaack and husband Greg of Savannah, GA; his grandchildren: Jessica Crisler of Atlanta, GA, Madeline Crisler of Atlanta, GA, Bryson Williams of Douglas, GA, Lindsay Schaack-Rothstein and husband Brian of Atlanta, GA, and Morgan Schaack of Augusta, GA. Also surviving are his sisters, Sue Williams Parker and husband Charlie of Baltimore, MD, and Sandra Williams Green and husband Jim of Chattanooga, TN; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
His surviving Lagrange family includes Kathy Livingston and husband Wayne, Marty Rothwell and husband David (dec.), Frank Hudson and wife Jane; eight grandchildren; and eight greatgrandchildren, all of whom will miss him dearly.
A celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 23, 2019, at First United Methodist Church in Douglas, GA, with a visitation in the social hall after. A private burial with full military honors will be held at 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, his family requests that donations be sent to his church or to the Wounded Warrior Project online at WoundedWarriorProject.org or by writing Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at www.simsfuneralhome.com.
Sims Funeral Home, Douglas, GA in charge of arrangements.