Warren Lamar Williams, 67 years old, passed away Friday evening, January 15, 2021, at Memorial Hospital, South Bend with his loving family by his side. Warren was diagnosed with lung cancer in March 2019. He fought a courageous and admirable fight, however, COVID pneumonia damaged his lungs resulting in losing his battle. Warren was born on September 9, 1953, in Miami, FL to the late Ennis Fay and Myrtis (Capps) Williams. His family moved to Panama City, Florida in 1962 where he spent the rest of his childhood. Warren graduated in 1971 from Bay High School. Warren received his Bachelor of Accountancy in 1977 from the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida.
After graduating from college, he worked at Main Hurdman CPA, later known as KPMG, in Atlanta, Georgia. He then took a job as the Controlling Manager at Deutz Corporation in Atlanta, which involved traveling to Germany. He then moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1985 where he took a job with The Tanner Company and later with Northern Automotive Corporation. It was here where he met the love of his life, Rhonda, in February of 1988.
Warren and Rhonda loved to travel. Living in Phoenix provided them the opportunity to travel to various locations on weekends including Las Vegas, Reno, California coast, Mexico, Sedona, Grand Canyon, and Prescott to see the snow.
On June 16, 1990, Warren and Rhonda G. Harding were united in marriage at St. Anthony de Padua in South Bend, IN. While still residing in Phoenix, their son Matthew Lamar was born in July of 1992. Wanting to raise Matthew near family, they decided to relocate to South Bend. Warren worked as a Controller at Wise International Trucks and later as a Financial Analyst with the Elkhart General Healthcare System.
In January 2001, Warren received an opportunity to work for the University of Notre Dame as a Financial Analyst within the Office of Budget and Planning. Warren was responsible for assisting various campus partners with their budget, future forecasting, and software development. A co-worker said Warren was patient and kind. He took the time to document a process in a simplified way that helped her learn in small steps. Often answer her questions over and over. She said he lived out the Notre Dame mission to be a “force for the good in the world.” After 18 years of service with the University, Warren retired on September 30, 2019.
Warren was a kind, gentle, and proud man who loved his family dearly. He never knew a stranger. Warren was extremely hospitable and wanted to make sure everyone was taken care of and comfortable. He was a true southern gentleman and enjoyed seeing other people happy. He was known to fire up his grill when company came to swim in his pool. He always made sure Rhonda’s vehicle was filled with gas. If it snowed, he would go to her work and clean off her car. During tax season, he was known to bring Rhonda and co-workers meals when they worked long hours.
He enjoyed introducing his family to Panama City and Panama City Beach in July of 1994. It is where they vacationed for many years. He also introduced his family to boiled peanuts, a southern delicacy. Warren and Matthew enjoyed their annual peanut boil. While Matthew was growing up, Warren attended every school and sports function, capturing memories along the way. Warren and his family made memories traveling all around the United States. Warren enjoyed traveling to Disney and one of the more memorable trips was to see Matthew propose to Rebekah in front of family.
A co-worker loved to hear Warren on the phone with his son, Matthew. It was always “Hello buddy,” you could hear the love in his voice. Warren and Matthew would often go on boys’ trips that included fishing, airshows, Notre Dame football games (started the 2012 season in Ireland and ended in Miami), aviation museums, and Waffle House (Warren’s favorite restaurant).
Rhonda’s godchildren (Jocelyn, Braylon, and Arianna) were a significant part of Warren’s life. He enjoyed taking them to the movies and letting them get whatever they wanted from the concession stand. He made sure when they visited the house was stocked with gummy bears and Nacho Doritos. After their father passed, Warren and Matthew stepped up to make sure the girls attended the daddy-daughter dances. While introducing them to Panama City Beach, Warren and Matthew took Braylon on a boys’ fishing trip that included breakfast at Waffle House. Warren was even known to let them have ice cream for breakfast.
Along with Rhonda, his loving wife of 30 years, Warren is survived by their son and daughter-in-law, Matthew Lamar and Rebekah Williams of Fishers, IN. His brothers-in-law, Andy McGovern, and Mike (Kim) Harding. Nieces and nephews, Mike (Cynthia) Ansley; Carson (Derek) McCafferty; Cory (Krista) Harding; Colin and Christopher Harding. Great-nieces and nephews, Colton (Jessie) Ansley; McKenzie (Derek) Trenar; Kinley McCafferty; Carson and Kaden Harding. Great-great niece, Willa Grace Ansley. Along with his parents, two sisters preceded him in death, Sandra McGovern and Sue Woods. Also, his mother-in-law, Sherry Harding.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 23, 2021, at the Palmer Funeral Home-Guisinger Chapel, 3718 S. Michigan Street, South Bend. Father Jim Bracke, CSC will officiate. Friends may visit with the family beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday until the service at 2:00 p.m. For those wishing to join the funeral service virtually via live stream, the link is below:
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Warren L. Williams may be donated to the American Cancer Society, 130 Red Coach Drive, Mishawaka, IN 46545, or to St. Matthew Cathedral, 1701 Miami Street, South Bend, IN 46613. Online condolences may be offered to Warren’s family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.
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American Cancer Society
130 Red Coach Dr., Mishawaka IN 46545
St. Matthew Cathedral
1701 Miami Street, South Bend IN 46613