Cover photo for Joseph Williams, Ph.D.'s Obituary
Joseph Williams, Ph.D. Profile Photo
1942 Joseph 2020

Joseph Williams, Ph.D.

April 7, 1942 — November 22, 2020

Joseph Beckham Williams, Ph.D. born April 7, 1942 and died November 22, 2020.  He was preceded in death by his parents Dr. Jonathan Richard Williams and Annie Laurie Beckham Williams, both of Selma, his brother Dr. Jonathan Richard Williams Jr. of Glenville, North Carolina, and two nephews.

Dr. Williams is survived by his wife of 52 years, Barbara Lynn Bellinger Williams; 2 sons; Joseph Beckham Williams Jr. (Jessica) of Pike Road, Alabama; Jonathan Bellinger Williams of Madison, Mississippi; and a daughter Barbara Lynn Williams Sheffield (David) of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.  He is also survived by grandchildren; Joseph Beckham Williams III, Morgan Nicole Williams Cleveland (Peyton), Landon Asher Williams, Sophia Lynde Williams, Jonathan Bellinger Williams Jr., Lillian Reese Williams, Amberly Catherine Sheffield, and Madeleine Beckham Sheffield, as well as 2 great-grandchildren Ava Marie and Rosalee Ivy Cleveland.

Dr. Williams graduated from Albert G. Parrish High School in 1960 and attended Emory University.  He was a member of Epsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Order and graduated in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science.  After graduation he served in the United States Army and the Georgia National Guard.  He also worked for the Continental Insurance Company in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Williams met Lynn Bellinger in Atlanta, they married, and moved to Selma. He and Catesby ap C. Jones purchased the C.W. Hooper Agency and he continued to work in the insurance industry.  He discovered his love of teaching at Wallace Community College in Selma where he taught Real Estate and Insurance courses to Air Force personnel at Craig Field.

In 1984 he received a Master of Science in Psychology from Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology in 1990 from the University of Alabama.  He began working as a Psychologist at Draper Correctional Facility where he continued until 1997 when he became Director of Cahaba Cares, a Division of Cahaba Center for Mental Health.  He continued working there until he retired in 2008.  He also taught as an adjunct professor at both AUM and Troy University at Montgomery.

Having been reared at First Baptist Church in Selma, Dr. Williams was confirmed at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in January 1970.  He became an active member in several parishes in the diocese.  He was a member of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, member of men’s breakfast team, served as a Sunday school teacher of various ages, lay reader, chalice bearer, served on local and diocesan fundraisers, participated in Alabama Cursillo # 2, and served on staff of several Cursillo weekends.

Dr. Williams was active in the local Selma community.  He was a member of the Selma Country Club, the Selma Quarterback Club, the University of Alabama Alumni Association, the Knights of Revelry and served as King in 2006.  He was also a member of the American Legion Post # 20 and Camp # 62 Sons of the Confederate Veterans.  He served as a volunteer for various organizations including the March of Dimes, the American Cancer Society, and the American Heart Association.  He enjoyed hunting, fishing, golf, football, and history.

Due to COVID 19 restrictions, holiday schedules, and the hurricane, the funeral is delayed until Monday December 7, 2020 at 11:00 AM.  It will be graveside only with masks being required. The service will be live streamed on Lawrence Brown-Service Funeral Home's Facebook page, at . Contributions may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church 210 Lauderdale Street, Selma, Alabama, 36701 or the Vaughan Smitherman Museum 109 Union Street, Selma, Alabama, 36701.

Scripture readers will be the Honorable Thomas ap R. Jones and Frances Elizabeth Turner.  The service will be conducted by the Reverend Henry Hudson.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph Williams, Ph.D., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Monday, December 7, 2020

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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