Judge James H. Williams, age 88, passed away on February 12, 2023 surrounded by his family.
He was born on February 20, 1934, in Salem, to Howard H. and Lucy Williams.
Jim was raised in Berlin Center, Ohio and graduated from Berlin Center High School in 1952. He earned his B.A. degree in pre-law studies at Kent State University followed by a Juris Doctor Degree from The Ohio State University Law School in 1957. Jim began working as a Staff Attorney with the Ohio Depart of Highways and as an Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio in Columbus. In 1961 he joined what became the law firm of Blumenstiel, Williams and Blumenstiel in Alliance. He was appointed one of eight United States Bankruptcy Judges for the Northern District of Ohio in 1972. He remained in that position until his retirement in April 2000. Judge Williams served the Court as its Chief Judge from 1988-1997.
Active in his community, Judge Williams was a past President of the Alliance Jaycees, a past National Director of the US Jaycees, a JCI Senator, a member and past director of the Alliance Rotary Club, a Paul Harris Fellow, campaign chairman and past president of the Alliance Area United Way, chairman of the Republican Party in Alliance, member of the Stark County Board of Elections, past president of the Stark County Bar Association, and was a life member of the Ohio State Bar Association and Fellow of Ohio Bar Association.
Following his retirement, he served as board president of Copeland Oaks Retirement Community, to which he and his wife relocated in 2013, board member of the Alliance-Minerva Chapter of the American Red Cross, president of the Alliance Family YMCA and a founding trustee of the Greater Alliance Foundation. He was also formerly active on the District level of the Buckeye Council, Boy Scouts of America and was a former member of Fillibusters and the Alliance Country Club. Judge Williams became a member of First Methodist Church in Alliance, now Christ United Methodist, in 1961 and served in most of the lay leadership roles of the church. For more than 40 years he was an adult Sunday School teacher.
Those left to cherish his memory are his children, James H., Jr. (Lynda) of Franklin, PA and Susan M. Zempke (Steve) of Mt. Vernon, TX; and four grandsons, Matthew J. Williams (Kelsey) of North Hollywood, CA, David Edwin Williams (Racheal Kimeu) of Jersey City, NJ, Andrew S. Zempke (Kimberley) of Arlington, TX, and Kevin W. Zempke of Plano, TX.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Margaret Williams, whom he married August 27, 1955 and who passed on August 21, 2022.
A celebration of life will be held at Christ United Methodist Church on Saturday, February 18th at 11:30 a.m. with a visitation from 10:00-11:30 a.m. Pastors John Partridge and Chris Martin will officiate. A private family committal service and entombment will be held at Highland Memorial Park later that afternoon.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Christ United Methodist Church, 470 E. Broadway, Alliance, Ohio 44601 or The Oaks Foundation, 715 S. Johnson Rd, Sebring, Ohio 44672.
Arrangements are entrusted to Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral Home 75 South Union Ave Alliance, Ohio 44601.