Maria Elisabeth Emma Karbstein Williams, 89, formerly of McGehee, passed away on November 17, 2016 at Baptist Hospital in Little Rock.
She was born on April 23, 1927 in Breslau, Germany and was the daughter of the late Erich and Wanda (Woiteck) Karbstein.
Mrs. Williams grew up in Breslau, Germany where she received a degree in chemistry. She worked as an interpreter for the U.S. military during World War II.
She owned Williams School of Dance in McGehee from 1958-1974. Following the close of her dance studio, Mrs. Williams worked for Delta Counseling in McGehee until her retirement in 1988. She was a long-time member of the First United Methodist Church of McGehee. After moving to Pottsville, she became a member of Pottsville First Baptist Church.
While employed by the U.S. military, Maria met the love of her life, Sidney Clayborn Williams, while he was serving in the U.S. Army. They married October 29, 1947 in Dumas. They were happily married for 49 years until Sidney’s death on March 23, 1997.
In addition to her husband and parents, Mrs. Williams was preceded in death by two sisters, Hildagard Williams of Dumas and Christa Reichelt of New York; and one grandson, Neal Miles of McGehee.
She is survived by four children, Sidney (Ann) Williams, Jr. of Dallas, Texas; Michael (Linda) Williams of Seabrook, Texas; Frank (Brenda) Williams of Fayetteville, and Wanda Miles of North Little Rock. She is also survived by one brother, Dr. Bernhard Karbstein and one sister, Renate Orlamunde, both of Germany; nine adoring grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held on November 21 from noon until 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in McGehee, with the funeral service beginning at 2 p.m. Pastor Jim Huffman of Pottsville First Baptist Church and Pastor Reginald Russell of McGehee First United Methodist Church will officiate. Arrangements will be provided by Griffin-Culpepper Funeral Service.
Pallbearers are Clay Williams, Eddy Williams, Erich Eastman, Colton Van Trease, Michael Williams, Josh Williams, Christian Kaufman and Gary Miles.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in Maria’s name to the McGehee Veterans’ Memorial, c/o John Foster, 2709 Chickasaw Road, McGehee, AR 71654 or the Alzheimer’s Association, 301 Markham Center, Little Rock, AR 72205.
The family would like to offer a special thank you to the McGehee First United Methodist Church for their hospitality and to all the caregivers who helped provide care for Maria throughout her lengthy illness.