Ronald Cedric Williams, 77, transitioned from this life on Sunday April 23, 2023. Ron was born January 4, 1946, in Youngstown, OH. He was the second of 9 children born to the union between Roy Williams and Jeraleen (Isenhour) Williams Lacey.
Ron was educated in the Youngstown City schools and developed into a star pole vaulter for his alma mater, The Rayen High School. After graduating high school, Ron enrolled at Youngstown State University before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. Ron’s military service was cut short due to an injury incurred during basic training, and he subsequently received an honorable discharge in July of 1967. On September 7, 1968, Ron married the former Mary Audrey Alexander, his high school sweetheart.
From a very young age, Ron was industrious and never without employment. His professional career began at GATX as a railcar draftsman, and this experience would later serve him well. An article in the archives of the Youngstown Vindicator details the assistance Ron was able to provide firefighters when he happened upon a train accident in downtown Youngstown, because he had helped design similar railcars. After several years at GATX, he became employed with General Electric.
In addition to his full-time employment, Ron was typically engaged in entrepreneurial ventures. From owning and managing rental properties to home repairs, paving, and construction, Ron’s “side jobs” eventually became his full-time endeavor. In the late ’80s, Ron founded his own construction company, SOS Construction, INC. The company expanded from home repair and paving into demolition and underground storage tank removal. He later also founded his own trucking company.
Ron was baptized and received the Holy Ghost on June 29, 1975, and became an active member of the Mt. Calvary Pentecostal Church in Youngstown, OH. In addition to singing in the concert choir, he served as leader of the Brotherhood ministry. During a major renovation of Mt. Calvary’s sanctuary, Ron helped construct the prominent “shell” backdrop for Mt. Calvary’s choir stand and pulpit, a feat that proved too difficult for many of the sub-contractors on the job site. Later in life, after moving to Columbus, OH, Ron became a member of Unity Baptist Church, where he served as a Deacon, before moving to Connecticut to be closer to his family. Ron’s pastimes included collecting antiques, classic car restoration, golfing, and traveling.
Ron leaves to cherish his memory his wife Mary, his children, the former Mayor of Youngstown, OH, Roy (Sonja) Kojo Jawara Williams, more widely known as “Jay” of West Hartford, CT, and his daughter Christine Olisa Armstread of Cleveland, OH. He also leaves a son, Marc D. Saunders, of Indiana. Grandchildren include Ashley S. Cash, Adam Saunders, Kaniya M. Simmons, Morgan K. Saunders, Ethan J. Williams, and three great-grandchildren. Ron leaves his sisters, Cassantra Clinkscale of Greensboro, NC, Beverly (Robert) Dixie, Janice (Serafin) Okello, Constance (Charles) Fitzpatrick, all of Youngstown, OH, and Beatrice Gurley of Atlanta, GA. Also holding loving memories of Ron are a host of nieces, nephews, extended church family members, and friends. His parents and three brothers, Greg Williams, Floyd Williams, and Alan Williams preceded Ron in death.
Visitation will be Saturday, May 6, 2023 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the L. E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home. Funeral Services will follow immediately at 11:00 a.m. Guests are asked to wear masks and observe social distancing.
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