′82 Middletown graduate ‘overcame every obstacle’

David Williams, a person with special needs, worked at McDonalds, Kroger.

A 1982 Middletown High School graduate, who received a standing ovation from his classmates at their commencement, is being remembered for the way he treated others.

David M. Williams died Sept. 22 at Atrium Medical Center, days after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was 59.

A person with special needs, Williams worked at McDonald’s on Breiel Boulevard, bagged groceries at Kroger on Towne Boulevard and umpired games at Goldman Park. There is a memorial with a picture of Williams and balloons near the check-out lanes at Kroger and numerous customers and employees have signed the poster.

His mother, Shirley Williams, 83, said her son “overcame every obstacle” and she always encouraged him to chase his dreams, whether that was taking karate or guitar lessons.

“Anything he wanted to do, I backed him,” she said. “I never told him he couldn’t do something. I was his biggest cheerleader.”

When asked what she’ll miss the most about her son, she said: “His presence, his kindness, his devotion to me. He was the kind of son every mother should have. I just loved him so. I can’t get over him not being here. I know he’s with the angels.”

Roxanne (Williams) Carter and Thomas Howard, a former Major League Baseball player from Middletown, helped care for Williams. Carter said since they shared the same last name, but weren’t related, they always were in the same homeroom.

“My brother from another mother” is how Carter described their relationship.

Carter and Howard took Williams anywhere he needed to go, whether that was to the laundry mat every Saturday morning or to his favorite restaurants.

“He was a very structured person,” Carter said. “If he said he’d call at 7, the phone would ring at 6:59.”

Carter and Williams said they have been overwhelmed by the support of the Middletown community. They knew Williams was well known. They just didn’t understand how much.

“He was special,” said Carter, who added Williams had the ability to remember names. “He touched the lives of everyone he knew. The community will never be the same. To know him is to love him.”

Besides his mother, he is survived by sister Kimball E. Williams, and a host of other family members.

He was preceded in death by his father, paternal and maternal grandparents, stepfather, and many other family members and friends.

Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at Faith Fellowship Church, 1915 S. Main St, Middletown. A private family service will follow along with the burial. Donald Jordan Memorial Chapel is handling the arrangements.

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