Obituary of Ocie Williams
Ocie Williams was born on July 6, 1941 in Newbern, Alabama to Anderson Holley and Ocie Holley (both deceased). Ocie was a devoted mother and caretaker to those whose lives she touched. She passed away suddenly of heart complications on Sunday, June 7, 2020. She was 78 years old.
She was the eldest daughter of seven children. Ocie was raised during a time when the nation was mobilizing for entry into World War II. During this time, Black Americans were adamant about their pursuit of equitable access to defense labor jobs. Ocie was just a young girl when Black servicemen went off to war and civil rights organizations, like the NAACP and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), sustained their tireless efforts to end racial discrimination. It is this historical backdrop that impacted her experience even into adulthood.
She attended high school in Hale County (Newbern) and while there, met and became smitten with a student at the Tuskegee Institute. His name was Jesse Williams. Ocie and Jesse fell in love, wed, and left Alabama to begin their lives together in the north. Ocie and Jesse migrated to Monticello, New York in the early 1960s in search of a better way of life and greater economic opportunities. It was in Monticello, that Ocie and Jesse found steady employment and raised their three children, Bonita, Gwendolyn, and Michael.
Ocie lived a full life as a mother, devout Christian, and caretaker in her community. She worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Community General Hospital (currently, the Catskill Regional Medical Center) from September 1965 to January 2008. For 43 years, she provided care to patients in the Skilled Nursing, Pediatrics, and Surgical Units of the hospital. She also provided in-home care to patients as a private duty CNA, which continued well after her retirement from the hospital in 2008. Ocie was deeply devoted to her work. Her children recognized this devotion—sharing that her love for patient care started the moment she put on her crisply ironed uniform and freshly polished white shoes. Her compassion to serve others was undeniable. Her dedication was unmatched. Her faith in God fueled her each step of the way.
Ocie was an active member of Bethlehem Temple Church, serving in ministries including the Pastor’s Aid Committee. She loved the Lord, and she adored her church family. She lived a life embracing this Bible verse, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
She was strong-willed and determined. Ocie was never afraid to speak her mind. In fact, everyone always knew she would “tell it like it is.” She was fiercely independent, had a loving and giving heart. She instilled these values in her children as well. It was through this example that they developed such a strong bond as siblings. Ocie would remind her children, “Always remember to take care of each other, love each other and love others.”
Some of Ocie’s most impactful moments included spending time with those she cared for, worshiping with her church community, and celebrating holidays and milestones with her children and grandchildren who she loved dearly. We honor the life and legacy of a daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, caretaker, and friend to many.
Ocie Williams is survived by her three children, Bonita Williams Goldwire (Kent), Gwendolyn Robinson, and Michael Williams (Felicia); seven grandchildren, Kyleita Williams, Quinniqua Williams, Sarafina Robinson, Mikayla Williams, Maiya Williams, Darius Adamson Jr., and Mariah Williams; four great grandchildren, Christian Williams, Summer Williams, Romelle Morton, Layla Lovejoy; goddaughter, Latasha Snowden; godson, Theodore “T.C.” Huntchins; four siblings, Roberta Nathan (Matthew), Charles Holley, Gracie Holley, and Jackie Holley; and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews. We honor her deceased siblings Anderson Holley Jr. and Cynthia “Inethia” Holley and late husband Jesse Williams Jr. All of these she loved and touched deeply.
Written with profound sorrow.
Memorial contributions can be made to the American Heart Association www.heart.org
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