Billy Junior Williamson, age 80 of Berry passed away Saturday, May 26, 2018 at home. Services will be Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at Concord Baptist Church with Robert Cobb and Brady Wright officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Visitation will be Monday, May 28, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Norwood-Wyatt Chapel. He was preceded in death by his parents, Theron and Pearlie Williamson; sisters, Delmarie Sanford and Mae Ola Harbin; and brother, Johnny Williamson. Survivors include his wife, Merlene Ford Williamson; daughters, Karen Beams (Jeff) and Laronda Channell (Doug); sons, Jerome Williamson (Ashley) and Eddie Williamson; sisters, Kathleen Kimbrell, JoAnn Sanford (Herman), Sue Kimbrell (Karl), and Linda Skelton; eleven grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren. Today we are able to celebrate the life of an amazing man as we gather to say goodbye to Mr. Billy Junior Williamson.Those who knew him, knew he was one man whose life can, without any hesitation, be defined as a "pillar of his community" and we were blessed to have him share his life with us for – just two days short of eighty one years. Few men have influenced so many lives. He was born May 28, 1937, the fourth of eight children (and one of only two sons) born to Theron and Pearl Williamson. His sisters and other family members remember him as a protector, a stronghold, a fortress of strength. His wife and children add that he had a gentle side that carried them through many hard times that would have torn apart weaker men. He was a leader – in business, in his community, in his church and in his home.He grew up working hard on the land, plowing fields when he was barely old enough to go to school and working until long after dark to help his family make ends meet long before he was legally old enough to drive. As soon as he was old enough to take a job, he went to work at the Foundry and immediately gained the respect of his supervisors and peers. He depended on God for his success and, in turn, he was greatly blessed. From working at the Foundry, to the logging industry, to running his sawmill ("Billy Williamson Lumber and Tie"), to serving as a timber buyer, trucker and land buyer, Billy Williamson built a reputation for himself --and a solid name for his children and grandchildren. What a blessing that they come together today and can celebrate that legacy.For those of you who have lived in this area, you know Billy, like his older brother, Johnny, was known for his willingness to give back to others. He served as County Commissioner for Fayette in the 1970s, had a stint as Fayette's Sheriff, remained active in the Republican Party and volunteered his time in service to the Gideons. Perhaps, there is no other place that he will be remembered more than in his service to his church. He was a loyal deacon, a frequent teacher and speaker, a prayer warrior and a godly example to anyone who knew him. Not to mention that he was always giving to others without wanting recognition, so much of his service we really will never know about.But now for the good stuff. In 1958, he was twenty years old and he met someone who would have caught the eye of any twenty-year-old young man – Merlene Ford, from Jasper, Alabama. Billy's family was huge, but his sisters tell about their immediate bond to Merlene – not just because she was beautiful – but because she had a beautiful heart and was in love with their brother. In that same year, they married and that marriage lasted until death parted them this past Saturday – but, that love will continue for eternity. Everyone who knew them, will remember them as the epitome of a couple who "cherished" one another. Even just months ago, if you caught them walking together down the streets of Fayette, you would have seen them arm in arm or with locked hands. When one walked in the room, the other lit up and the way they smiled at each other was a language all its own. You could tell that they might be speaking peace to one another, sharing a secret joke or...well, flirting with one another... just in the way they smiled at each other.Perhaps what speaks most highly of Billy is the respect that he carried as a father. Saturday morning, when he passed, all four of his children were gathered at his side to ease his transition into heaven. What a gift from God for each of them. As you look back at those four children today -- if you really look at each of them, you will see that a piece of Billy Junior Williamson will stay with us forever because he has left his seed in each of them and they in their children. Today we celebrate what he has meant as a husband, a father, a provider, a brother, a child, a community leader, a pillar of our community. We mourn that we cannot join where he is but we thank God for the mark he left behind. Pallbearers will be Ryan Beams, Cacey Beams, Taylor Channell, Russell Olive, Scott Freeman, Dalton Essary, and Tyler Williamson.