Freddie Williams, Sr., a great man and servant of God, departed this life on Friday, May 15, 2020. He was born on June 8, 1938 in Alco, Louisiana to the union of Volover W. Williams, Sr. and Fannie Lynch Williams. At an early age, he accepted Christ as his personal Savior and became an active member of Bethel AME Church in DeRidder, Louisiana. Freddie's education began in the Beauregard Parish School System from which he graduated Salutatorian of the 1956 graduating class of George Washington Carver High School. He relocated to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that same year and entered Southern University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in English and a Masters +30 in Educational Administration and Supervision. He was certified by the Louisiana Department of Education in English, Administration and Supervision and Guidance and Counseling. Freddie married Millie Marie Leggett in 1961 and to this union three children were born. Freddie entered the United States Army and served during the Cuban Crisis. He was assigned to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to serve as an English Language Instructor at Fort Buchanan Military Training Center (HQ Antilles Command). The purpose of this center was to qualify Puerto Rican trainees in the command of the English language and to prepare them for basic combat. Freddie, his wife, and new son returned to the continental United States, and he continued his work in education. He taught English at both McKinley and Tara High Schools in Baton Rouge, LA. He subsequently served as Dean of Students and Assistant Principal at Baton Rouge Magnet High School where he was instrumental in the development of the new Magnet Program. In 1982, Freddie was asked by the Superintendent of East Baton Rouge Parish Schools to launch a new magnet program in North Baton Rouge. With $500 and a devoted Secretary, Freddie reopened Scotlandville High School as Scotlandville Magnet High School, a college-prep academic and pre-engineering magnet program. The school became a highly successful competitive program and was recognized for its partnerships, significant student achievements, and scholarship awards. After serving seventeen years as Principal of Scotlandville Magnet High School, Freddie went on to assist students at Baton Rouge Prep Academy before retiring. After retirement, Freddie did not stop being a servant leader. He became a Principal on Assignment where he served as an acting Principal for Principals on leave and a Principal Mentor for Scotlandville Magnet and Baton Rouge Magnet High Schools. Freddie was a long-time member of Bethel AME Church where he served on the Trustee Board and as the Minister of Music for many years. He was awarded Grandfather of the Year by his church family. He was also a member of the Southern University Choir, Alpha Phi Omega, Phi Beta Kappa, and the Masons. Freddie was an original member of the notable Heritage ensemble. Freddie is survived by his wife of 59 years, Millie Marie Williams; daughters, Tirzah Williams-Smith (Larry) Baton Rouge, LA; and Angie Weems (Renaldo) Concord, CA; son, Maurice Antonio Williams (LaTaunga) Cedar Hill, TX; seventeen grandchildren: Toviah, Samantha, Savanna, Samaria, Sarena, Chelsia, Tasmin (Brittney), Tremayne, Travis, Zoe, Kai, Jozi, Dillon, Brooke, Paige, Jalen and Jade; seven great-grandchildren: Rodriana, Jayden, Zikya., Tia, Marlee, Brandon and Ella; and a host of in-laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins who will miss him dearly. Freddie was preceded in death by his parents, Volover W. Williams, Sr. and Fannie Lynch Williams; son, Freddie Williams, Jr.; brothers, Volover W. Williams, Jr., Robert Lee Williams, one sister, Bessie Mae Mullens, and nephew Marcus Williams.
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Published in The Advocate from May 20 to May 21, 2020.