We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at L.E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home
Theola Mae “Thee” (Austin) Williams-Favors was born March 5, 1937 in Antiwar, WV. On the morning of, June 20, 2022, she departed peacefully in her sleep at 9:00 a.m. at her daughters home in Roanoke, IN from dementia. She was 85 years young.
Both of her parents, Rev. Ernest A. and Ada (Henry) Austin, moved from Birmingham, Alabama to the town of Antiwar, West Virginia in 1936 shortly before she was born in 1937. She was the 6th child born of 7 children. Migrated to Youngstown, OH when she was 16 years old with her family in 1953. Married Clarence L. Williams in 1955 for 16 years. They had four children. Later married Alex Favors January 5, 1976 until his death in August 18, 2020. They had one child together.
Preceded in death by grandparents: Gus and Theola M Austin, Parents: Rev. Ernest A. Austin, Sr. and Ada Henry-Austin, stepmother: Rev. Mary Elizabeth Austin, spouses: Dec. Alex Favors-Youngstown & Rev. C.L. Williams of Canton OH, Siblings: Gospel singer Mary E. (Austin) Robinson-Youngstown, Rosetta (Austin) Jones of Detroit MI, Marie (Austin) Jones of Philadelphia, Recording artist Robert “Bob” Washington of (The Gospelaires of Dayton OH). He lived in Brooklyn NY. Gospel singer Dec. James “Man” Austin and gospel singer Ernest “Fats” A. Austin Jr. both of Youngstown, son Lawrence Favors & grandson Wayne Favors both of Chicago IL.
Accomplishments/Memberships: was a dedicated stay at home mother who raise her children until middle school. As a professional seamstress, she made all her childrens clothing and many of her husband suits. Worked at Youngstown Towel Supply, Westinghouse, General Motors, General Electric. Retired October in 1997. Held various church positions for many years as a pastor’s wife. A dedicated Missionary whom visited the sick & nursing homes, formed a Youth choir, Youth Ministries, organizer of youth plays/programs. Created and organized The Williams Sisters Gospel Singers. Also sang with several well known gospel groups around Youngstown for several years. For two decades she was a proud member of Mt. Gilead Baptist Church where Rev. Clifford Kimbrough, pastor. One day she was invited to a bible study at The New Bethel Baptist Church of Youngstown where Rev Kenneth A Simon was the teacher/pastor. A spiritual stronghold & growth captured her heart so strong, she said she couldn’t leave and joined fellowship there. Participant and or member of the Senior Choir, bible study, prayer ministry, prison ministry and a Sunday School Teacher. Enjoyed singing. Had a beautiful opera voice. She loved NBBC!
Theola was an organizer and formed The Regent St. Neighborhood Watch Committee. For several years she kept our neighborhood safe as she, father and other volunteers patrolled the streets every night. We also enjoyed the Neighborhood Watch Block Family Parties she held once a year with support of our surrounding neighbors, the mayor and the local fire dept which helped to make the festivities a success. Oh what a time that was! Charcoaled grills a blazing the summer air and the smell of good southern food, the kids favorites of hot dogs, burgers and french fries. Fire hydrant water falls for the children as they danced in the streets. Mother made sure there was always something going on at the Williams-Favors home. Mother also loved and was blessed with multiple talents of the arts, crafts and baking/cooking. Interior decorator, crocheting, knitting, beautiful bouquet flower arrangements, created outstanding ceramics pieces, made multiple kinds of quilts & blankets. Enjoyed artistic painting, creative graphic arts, made Stain glass art for windows, artistic story photo-book albums/personalized cookbooks, your favorite pictures on pillows, blankets, throws & T-Shirts. Loved cooking, canning and baking. For many years all our families gathered on Sunday after church to enjoy mother’s good southern home cooking! We will never forget that famous pig roast in the backyard nor the 4th of July firecrackers she set off and many picnic outings at the amusement park with extended family. Well known for her southern cornbread dressing, cakes, pies and homemade yeast rolls just to name a few.
An avid fan of The Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. NBA LeBron James of Akron, OH was one of her favorites. Above all she loved being around all her family and cherished the time she spent with them. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for family, friends, church or neighbors.
She leaves to cherish her memory, her children: Mary M. Williams-Davis of Liberty OH, Kimberly A. Williams of Roanoke IN, Brenda S. Williams-Peace of Youngstown, Christopher L. (Coronica) Williams of Chester SC and KaTrina M. (Edward Sr) Favors-Walker of Akron OH, Linda Favors-Bradford of Chicago IL, Lonnie Shepard-Favors and Lindsey Favors Chicago IL. Her favorite 1st cousin, Jackie Austin of Detroit MI & sister-in-law Phyllis Austin from Cincinnati OH, One step sister Melanie Austin of Youngstown, 28 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren, a host of great aunts & uncles, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Visitation will be Friday, July 1, 2022 from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. at the New Bethel Baptist Church. Funeral services will follow at 11:00 a.m. Due to the pandemic, guests are asked to wear masks and observe social distancing.