Jim Tyler Williams
AMORY – Jim Tyler Williams, 47, arrived healthy and full of joy at his heavenly home on Monday, May 1, 2017 after a courageous battle with melanoma.
Jim was born Dec. 29, 1969, in Amory, to Jimmy and Phyllis Jackson Williams. He graduated from Amory High School, Class of 1988, where he was in the National Honor Society, was a Golden Panther and a football, basketball and baseball star athlete. Jim attended Itawamba Community College, earned a college football scholarship, graduated with honors and received his B.S. in exercise physiology from The University of Southern Mississippi. He then graduated Cum Laude from The University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Physical Therapy in 1994. Jim was humbled in 2012 when the street between Amory High School’s football and baseball fields was named in his honor, Jim Williams Drive.
Jim married his best friend and love of his life, Cheri Hall Williams, in July of 1994. He worked as a home health physical therapist for Alexander’s Home Health in Amory from 1994-1997; physical therapy director of rehabilitation/wellness at Gilmore Memorial Hospital in Amory from 1997 to 2010; and physical therapy director of rehabilitation for Rehab at Work in Amory from 2010 to 2017. Jim was seen on the sidelines for Amory High School sports as team physical therapist from 1994 to 2016.
Jim was a faithful member of First Baptist Church in Amory and loved worshiping there with his family and friends. He was an enthusiastic outdoorsman and especially enjoyed hunting, fishing, coaching his sons’ ball teams and going on family vacations.
Left to treasure Jim’s memory are his wife of 23 years, Cheri Hall Williams; two sons, Jackson and Jake Williams; his parents, Jimmy and Phyllis Williams; his sister, Kim Williams; and his brother, Chad (Amanda) Williams, all of Amory. Jim is also survived by his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Phil and Libby Hall of Wren; dearly loved Maw Maw, Bobbye Hall of Okolona; two brothers-in-law, Charlie (Tabitha) Hall and Steve (Amber) Hall; nephews and nieces, Eric (Shanna) Bryan, Dusty Bryan, Macie Williams, Mylie Williams and Connor Quarles. Jim was blessed with a large, loving family of aunts, uncles, and cousins; and devoted pets, JJ and Honey.
Jim was preceded in death by his grandparents, Troy and Charlene Jackson, and Woodrow and Ruby Williams.
A celebration of Jim’s life will take place at First Baptist Church of Amory at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 with Dr. Allen Simpson officiating. Visitation will be from 2 until 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday at First Baptist Church. E.E. Pickle Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
A graveside service will follow in Haughton Memorial Park.
Pallbearers will be Blake Gilstrap, Corey Glenn, Todd Glenn, Reg Gordon, Mark Johnson, Brian Maxcy, Tack Robinson and Tony Swan. Honorary pallbearers will be Greg McNeese, Josh Pickle, Brad Stevens, Brian Stevens, Barry Williams, Greg Williams, Ken Williams and Mike Williams.
Because Jim believed and invested in young people, the family would be honored with memorial contributions made to the Jim Williams “Follow & Fight” Memorial Scholarship awarded to high school seniors through CREATE Foundation, P.O. Box 1053, Tupelo, Mississippi 38802.
Jim Williams’ legacy is one of faith and perseverance as he lived to Follow & Fight. Jim’s devotion to his family and his firm belief in God supported him in his struggle and ultimately gave him great peace as he wrote the following words of Love and Hope:
One of the few advantages of dying from melanoma cancer, recurrent and metastasized to the brain, lungs, stomach and colon, is that you have time to write your own obituary. Some folks told me that writing my own obituary was morbid, but I think it is great because I get a chance to say “thank you” to all the people who helped me along the way...those who loved me, assisted me, cared for me, laughed with me and taught me things so that I could have a wonderful, happy life. I was blessed beyond measure by knowing all of you. That is what made my life worthwhile. Thank you for walking alongside us, lifting us up in prayer, loving us and hoping with us.
We cling to our HOPE in the God who is greater than all, the One who knows what we don’t, who created the heavens and the earth, as well as the intimate details of the seen and unseen. Beyond the doctors, medicine, treatments and surgeries, God is our ever present Hope, Help and Healer!
I met Cheri Williams in the Hardee’s parking lot one night in December 1987, the luckiest night of my life. She was 15; I was 18. We were high school sweethearts and were married on July 30, 1994. Cheri, I love you more than I could ever be able to express. You are one supportive wife and mother. Thank you for all the laughter, the love and for standing by me till the very end. You were my rock! Jackson and Jake, I love you so much, and I’m so very proud of you. You both are much stronger because of what you have been dealt over the past five years. Think of it as a blessing, please. Always remember that obstacles in your life are part of God’s plan; they certainly make you tough. You already are great young men and will be amazing husbands and fathers one day. You all have blessed my life unbelievably, and for that I am grateful.
People say I am strong; maybe I am, but it is only because my mom and dad are two of the strongest people I know. They have been true role models for me. They taught me the real meaning of family and the love of God and family over everything else. I am confident in saying that I was physically tough, but needed help in the mentally tough department. I needed the support of my family and friends.
When I was told I had cancer, I faced it head on. I told Cheri that I would follow God down whatever path He had planned, and I would fight my hardest every day to stay strong and win this battle. This conversation sparked our new family motto “Follow & Fight.” And to this, we have all stayed true. Through it all, my faith and the love I have for my wife and children, my family and my friends gave me the strength and courage to beat each obstacle thrown my way. I hope I have been an inspiration to others and that people can think about my battle with cancer and know that you should never give up and always have Hope. This we know to be true...no plan or purpose of God’s can be prevented! I decided to be joyful about having had a full life rather than sad about having to die. Amazingly, this outlook worked for me. Being a Christian helped me to accept what I could not change. I found peace early during this journey. Of course, I have faltered a few times and have had my share of pity parties; however, with resolve and conviction, I can say that I’m not afraid to die. I have Hope...a hope that is greater than me, greater than my fear and greater than death itself; a hope that I have found during the midst of the battle to stay alive for my family. It might be cliché, but I wanted to live every day to the fullest because tomorrow is no guarantee. Each breath is a gift that is not to be taken for granted.
My beloved Cheri, Jackson and Jake, my family and friends, how great you all have been to me. Knowing and loving each one of you was the success story of my life. Please find joy in knowing that I am in Heaven and not suffering anymore. I have won the battle. I am healed. Know I am in your hearts and memories. Joy can certainly be intertwined with tremendous pain. I know this all too well. I don’t want to die; I want to stay here with my family. However, I believe there is something more real than death. Something greater. Something stronger. Something more powerful. ETERNAL LIFE! And, that’s why I am not afraid to die. Trusting in what Jesus has already done for us takes the sting out of death; he conquered death to give us an abundant life here and in eternity.
“Be strong! Be courageous! Do not be afraid! For the Lord your God will be with you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6.
So, do this for me...buy some sunscreen, spend time with your family and friends and pray daily. Follow & Fight!