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Otis Williams Jr. Obituary

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Otis Williams Jr.

Decatur, Illinois

December 22, 1942 - November 1, 2021

Otis Williams Jr. Obituary

Otis Jerry Williams December 22, 1942 – November 1, 2021 Otis Jerry Williams of Chicago Illinois had a ‘new beginning’ on November 1, 2021, his physical body died at the age of 78, but his larger-than-life persona and brilliance will not be forgotten for he has entered into eternity with the same zest he has always had. It is the same zest for life that propelled Otis to be a pioneer in so many facets of his life. The kind of zest that Otis would have jokingly said “This is enough to drive Jesus to drink!” Reverent yet rambunctious, a dynamo on two legs, Otis Jerry Williams leaves a legacy that is reflected in the numerous lives he impacted. He was born December 22, 1942 in Gunnison, Mississippi. He was the oldest son of the late Otis and Sarah Williams. Affectionately known as “Junior” or “O” he was a teacher, principal, basketball coach, project facilitator, planner, designer, organizer, Operator of Psychiatric Group Therapy Programs, Businessman, Entrepreneur and President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of New Beginnings Recovery Homes Incorporated (incorporated 1992), and Employee Development Specialist for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the Midwest Region of the United States.  Otis also owned and operated Rocknee Theater (1983-1987). Otis also enjoyed playing pinochle, reading, writing and proudly and generously giving his time and talent to help family and friends develop successful non-profit organizations that have reached the marginalized, the downtrodden and weary and lifted them back into vibrancy of life. Pioneering was always a part of who Otis was. In his earlier years Otis went to Phillips high school and graduated at 14 years old, and excelled in his studies so that he graduated from DePaul University at the age of 18 with his Bachelor’s degree. While at DePaul, Otis was among the first African American basketball players and part of the championship winning team that the Chicago Sun Times ascribed the moniker of “The Big O.”  Otis continued to blaze a trail of excellence as he entered into the field of education as teacher and administrator. For over a decade he served the educational needs of students in the Chicago Archdiocesan school system. First as a teacher at St. Malachy and St. Phillips High School. Then as Principal at Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Matthews. But this dynamo on two legs did not limit himself to positively impacting the lives of students in those schools, he also ventured into the Chicago Public School system and reached the students in need of literacy development.  Many a student would have heard his oft uttered “Hello Darling!” as he helped to build their skills and master the ability to communicate effectively. Otis also directed his training skills towards employees of the IRS as he assisted in their grasping the complexities of the tax code and other needed skill development.  In addition to that, he was instrumental in the administration of entrepreneurial efforts that dealt with real estate management and behavioral modification programs.  Otis earned a Bachelor of Science in Education Degree at DePaul University and studied History and Political Science at Crane Junior College. Otis earned a Master’s Degree in Administration & Supervision at Antioch University and Otis pursued Doctoral studies. Otis parlayed these degrees and skills into a signature effort that has and will always be associated with his pioneering spirit: the founding, developing and sustaining of the “New Beginnings” recovery homes.  For nearly three decades, Otis has provided a structured drug and alcohol-free residential housing environment for special homeless populations. He administered an array of social, supportive case management services that has literally and figuratively given many a “new beginning” and positively caused a ripple effect of excellence and success throughout our society.  It is the pioneering spirit of this brilliant man, Otis Jerry Williams, that attracted the attention of such notable national leaders like Congressman Danny Davis.  Congressman Davis relied on the input of Otis in committees that dealt with Ex-Offenders, HIV/AIDS, and poverty and homelessness. The abundance of knowledge and experience that Otis had through his lifelong career dealing with such issues has resonated in various local, state, regional and national policies and programs. Bringing humor and intellect to any situation was a trait Otis brought to such deliberations. With a robust smile on his face, “I’m gonna rob Peter to pay Paul!” could be laughingly said while he skillfully articulated in the next breath profound and powerful ideas that gave guidance to the leaders of the body politic in ways to maximize resources and increase the benefits to all involved in public policy issues of far-ranging importance and magnitude. Yet the heaviness of such issues did not diminish the light heartedness and whimsy Otis exhibited to family and friends. Avid collector of comic books, lover of music, and jovial relative to many of his family, Otis, the dynamo on two legs, embraced the role of mentor to many in his circle of influence. Among the surviving family members are: His charming children Byron and his children (Byron Jr., Najjah, Jewel, Diamond) and Otis’ great grandchildren/Byron’s grandchildren (Byron III, Bryant and Josiah).  Shannon and his children (Trenton (deceased), Sharika, Mia, Andrew, Isaiah). Otis’ great grandchildren/Shannon’s grandchildren (Messiah and TJ); Mary Williams’ mother of Shannon and Byron Williams; brother and sisters: Sarah, Dorothy, Joseph and Elizabeth Williams, cousin Liza Davis, host of nieces/nephews, cousins, friends, close friend Willie Dotson and associates.  Those who preceded him in death are: mother and father; Sarah and Otis; Trenton Land his grandchild, brothers: James, Elijah and Andrew Williams, Eliza Burt and Gracie Austin his aunts of Decatur, Ill.  Yes, the physical body of Otis Jerry Williams may have entered into a restful state, but his pioneering spirit, like that of his savior, Jesus Christ, is alive and well and continuing to influence the lives of many. If the zest for life Otis showcased has driven “Jesus to Drink” then here’s hoping it is a cup lifted up in a toast from the LORD, saying “well done, good and faithful servant, enter into my joy!” For a life well lived, we are thankful for the blessing that was Otis Jerry Williams!

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Otis Williams Jr. hosted by Walker Funeral Service & Chapel.

Otis Jerry Williams December 22, 1942 – November 1, 2021 Otis Jerry Williams of Chicago Illinois had a ‘new beginning’ on November 1, 2021, his physical body died at the age of 78, but his larger-than-life persona and brilliance will not be forgotten for he has entered into eternity with the same zest he has always had. It is the same zest for life that propelled Otis to be a pioneer in so many facets of his life. The kind of zest that Otis would have jokingly said “This is enough to drive Jesus to drink!” Reverent yet rambunctious, a dynamo on two legs, Otis Jerry Williams leaves a legacy that is reflected in the numerous lives he impacted. He was born December 22, 1942 in Gunnison, Mississippi. He was the oldest son of the late Otis and Sarah Williams. Affectionately known as “Junior” or “O” he was a teacher, principal, basketball coach, project facilitator, planner, designer, organizer, Operator of Psychiatric Group Therapy Programs, Businessman, Entrepreneur and President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of New Beginnings Recovery Homes Incorporated (incorporated 1992), and Employee Development Specialist for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the Midwest Region of the United States.  Otis also owned and operated Rocknee Theater (1983-1987). Otis also enjoyed playing pinochle, reading, writing and proudly and generously giving his time and talent to help family and friends develop successful non-profit organizations that have reached the marginalized, the downtrodden and weary and lifted them back into vibrancy of life. Pioneering was always a part of who Otis was. In his earlier years Otis went to Phillips high school and graduated at 14 years old, and excelled in his studies so that he graduated from DePaul University at the age of 18 with his Bachelor’s degree. While at DePaul, Otis was among the first African American basketball players and part of the championship winning team that the Chicago Sun Times ascribed the moniker of “The Big O.”  Otis continued to blaze a trail of excellence as he entered into the field of education as teacher and administrator. For over a decade he served the educational needs of students in the Chicago Archdiocesan school system. First as a teacher at St. Malachy and St. Phillips High School. Then as Principal at Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Matthews. But this dynamo on two legs did not limit himself to positively impacting the lives of students in those schools, he also ventured into the Chicago Public School system and reached the students in need of literacy development.  Many a student would have heard his oft uttered “Hello Darling!” as he helped to build their skills and master the ability to communicate effectively. Otis also directed his training skills towards employees of the IRS as he assisted in their grasping the complexities of the tax code and other needed skill development.  In addition to that, he was instrumental in the administration of entrepreneurial efforts that dealt with real estate management and behavioral modification programs.  Otis earned a Bachelor of Science in Education Degree at DePaul University and studied History and Political Science at Crane Junior College. Otis earned a Master’s Degree in Administration & Supervision at Antioch University and Otis pursued Doctoral studies. Otis parlayed these degrees and skills into a signature effort that has and will always be associated with his pioneering spirit: the founding, developing and sustaining of the “New Beginnings” recovery homes.  For nearly three decades, Otis has provided a structured drug and alcohol-free residential housing environment for special homeless populations. He administered an array of social, supportive case management services that has literally and figuratively given many a “new beginning” and positively caused a ripple effect of excellence and success throughout our society.  It is the pioneering spirit of this brilliant man, Otis Jerry Williams, that attracted the attention of such notable national leaders like Congressman Danny Davis.  Congressman Davis relied on the input of Otis in committees that dealt with Ex-Offenders, HIV/AIDS, and poverty and homelessness. The abundance of knowledge and experience that Otis had through his lifelong career dealing with such issues has resonated in various local, state, regional and national policies and programs. Bringing humor and intellect to any situation was a trait Otis brought to such deliberations. With a robust smile on his face, “I’m gonna rob Peter to pay Paul!” could be laughingly said while he skillfully articulated in the next breath profound and powerful ideas that gave guidance to the leaders of the body politic in ways to maximize resources and increase the benefits to all involved in public policy issues of far-ranging importance and magnitude. Yet the heaviness of such issues did not diminish the light heartedness and whimsy Otis exhibited to family and friends. Avid collector of comic books, lover of music, and jovial relative to many of his family, Otis, the dynamo on two legs, embraced the role of mentor to many in his circle of influence. Among the surviving family members are: His charming children Byron and his children (Byron Jr., Najjah, Jewel, Diamond) and Otis’ great grandchildren/Byron’s grandchildren (Byron III, Bryant and Josiah).  Shannon and his children (Trenton (deceased), Sharika, Mia, Andrew, Isaiah). Otis’ great grandchildren/Shannon’s grandchildren (Messiah and TJ); Mary Williams’ mother of Shannon and Byron Williams; brother and sisters: Sarah, Dorothy, Joseph and Elizabeth Williams, cousin Liza Davis, host of nieces/nephews, cousins, friends, close friend Willie Dotson and associates.  Those who preceded him in death are: mother and father; Sarah and Otis; Trenton Land his grandchild, brothers: James, Elijah and Andrew Williams, Eliza Burt and Gracie Austin his aunts of Decatur, Ill.  Yes, the physical body of Otis Jerry Williams may have entered into a restful state, but his pioneering spirit, like that of his savior, Jesus Christ, is alive and well and continuing to influence the lives of many. If the zest for life Otis showcased has driven “Jesus to Drink” then here’s hoping it is a cup lifted up in a toast from the LORD, saying “well done, good and faithful servant, enter into my joy!” For a life well lived, we are thankful for the blessing that was Otis Jerry Williams!

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Otis Williams Jr. hosted by Walker Funeral Service & Chapel.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of Otis Williams Jr..