James Elijah Williams was born on Mary 3rd, 1963 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Ruby and Bishop James L. Williams. Shortly before his transition, he would tell loved ones he was “going home to be with the Lord”. His appointed day was on December 26th., 2019.
He was the oldest of three, and called Elijah by his parents. His younger siblings, John and Lynn, had difficulty pronouncing this and affectionately called him “Lolly”. Brought up in a God loving household, James began his relationship with Jesus Christ at an early age at the New Fellowship Church of God.
James was a top student at Robert A. Taft High School, graduating in 1981. He attended Ohio University and The University of Cincinnati. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree, with distinction, in Business and Leadership from Nyack College in 2009. Following high school, he joined the Army National Guard, and then enlisted full time in the U.S. Air Force. He was stationed in many different countries including England, Korea and Saudi Arabia to name a few.
James was a decorated war time veteran who went on to distinguish himself in the performance of outstanding service. He received numerous citations and awards such as the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, and many others. He retired from the military in 2007 with the rank of Master Sergeant. As a Personnel Programs Superintendent at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, he received an illustrious award because he created from scratch, implemented and oversaw the Center’s first-ever Military Retirement Program which provided career and benefits counseling to ease the transition of retiring personnel.
Armed with extensive knowledge and expertise in military regulations, James was highly recruited by defense contractors and corporations. After his military retirement, he moved to Beavercreek, Ohio, and worked in the military contract industry until January of 2018. He was also a pet parent, social leader, political activist, and community volunteer. He was a frequent and loyal supporter of the Beavercreek VFW Post 8312, American Legion Post 763 and other veteran organizations.
James often traveled to Cincinnati to visit with family and friends and enjoyed the Bengals, Ohio State football, and a daily slice of cheesecake. A noted tech gadget junkie, he often acquired the newest watches, phones, and TV, and smart music devices for entertainment. Additionally, he generously shared and donated gadgets to friends and family.
In 2017 his medical condition, later diagnosed as Corticobasal Degeneration, began to aggressively touch his body. Although he was progressively limited physically to the point of a wheel chair, James never let the physical
circumstances touch his indomitable soul or his unconquerable spirit. He never asked “why me.” Instead, in typical James fashion, he rallied his friends and family to roll up our sleeves and fight it.
James was preceded in death by his parents, and brother in spirit William “Bill” Grace.
He leaves to remember him his brother and sister-in-law, John and Tracey Williams; his sister and brother-in-law, William and Elizabeth Lynn Morgan; nephews William Jackson and John Mark Williams, Jr.; niece Abrenica Williams (Patrick), and three grand nieces. His memory is also shared by his cousins James R. Williams (Helen) and family, his aunt Barbara Murph (Horace) and family and many cousins, friends, and veteran brothers and sisters.
James stretched his unmatched charitable nature, quick wit, exquisite taste and huge kind heart from his humble beginning in Cincinnati to across the world. He aimed high.
*Rather than sending flowers, the family asks that you donate in James’ memory to Save The Animals Foundation, 4011 Red Bank Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45227, staf.org.