Billy Ray Williams, 66, of Monticello, passed away on September 18, 2018.
He was born on September 26, 1951 in Warren and was the son the the late Mr. and Mrs. John Henry Williams.
Mr. Williams was a dedicated professional educator with an accomplished career as a public school administrator, teacher, and coach with forty-three years of experience in education. He was the father of two sons and beloved husband of Becke Perkins Williams, who is herself a retired coach, educator and school counselor. They are the owners of Rocking Horse Ranch in Monticello.
Mr. Williams, the Superintendent of Schools at the Drew Central School District Monticello, is remembered for his devotion to his wife throughout his legacy of leadership and service to schools in Texas and Arkansas. The last 31 of his 43 years in the education field were providing administrative leadership at the district and building level.
He was a member of First Baptist Church of Monticello where he taught Adult 3 Sunday School and Awanas and served on various committees.
His love of sports and public announcing dubbed him the “Voice” of the Redbugs, Billies, Bears and Pirates. He covered football, basketball, baseball and softball zealously. He was famous for his booming, ‘How ’bout them Pirates!’ And he was also a supportive friend of the arts and a strong supporter of Seark Concert’s SMArts program.
Mr. Williams attended the University of Arkansas at Monticello (BSE), Henderson State University (MSE), University of Central Arkansas (Secondary Principal Certificate) and the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville (Administrator’s Certificate).
He began his teaching career as a graduate assistant, instructor and coach at Henderson State University in 1975-76. Later, he taught and coached at Texas High School in Texarkana, Texas, Warren High School, and Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas. He went on to become a high school coach at Fordyce, then a principal at Fordyce. Later, he took a the principal job at Monticello High School in order to bring his family closer to his and his wife’s ailing parents. After receiving his superintendent’s certificate he served as school district superintendent at the Woodlawn School District for 12 years and the Drew Central School District for five years.
He was a member of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, the Arkansas Superintendent Academy and the Arkansas Association of Rural Administrators. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Arkansas Activities Association (District 7AA Conference President), Drew Memorial Hospital, SEABEC Vocational Center in Warren and president of the Southeast Arkansas Educational Service Cooperative. He was a past member of Rotary, and last month he began his training as an auxiliary police for the Monticello Police Dept.
Mr. Williams loved Drew Central Schools and Southeast Arkansas dearly, but at the end of the day, he loved being just five minutes from the ranch. He could change into his work clothes and bush hog his deer lanes or be a cowboy and help Becke by working with the horses and doing ranch chores. They delighted in developing their horse ranch and the PATH Intl Therapeutic Equine Center there. They are very grateful for their sons, for their extended family and many friends, and their lifetime of work in education.
Mr. Williams is survived by his wife of 47 years, Becke Perkins Williams; son, Michael and his wife, Tiffany, of Puyallup, Washington, and son, Thomas and his fiancée, Suzy Pratt, of Weatherford Texas; three grandchildren, his sister, Martha Bess; his brother, Bobby Ray and wife Anita; and a number of nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews.
Visitation and a Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, September 22 at Earl William Auditorium on the Drew Central campus in Monticello. Visitation will begin at 9 a.m. The service will begin at 11 a.m. Burial be Saturday at 3 p.m. at Pleasant Valley Free Will Baptist Church Cemetery in Warren.
Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association or the Pleasant Valley Freewill Baptist Church, 1021 U.S. 278 West, Warren, AR 71671.
Arrangements by Stephenson-Dearman Funeral Home in Monticello.