Wichita Falls community bid farewell to legend Arthur Bea Williams
WICHITA FALLS (KFDX / KJTL) – Family, friends and community members gathered at the New Jerusalem Baptist Church to bid a final farewell to Wichita Falls legend Arthur Bea Williams.
A North Texas legend who is remembered for his courage, compassion, loyalty and dedication to his community was celebrated by friends and family before being buried on Saturday morning. A light that will continue to shine for so many people in Wichita Falls.
Wichitan since the age of nine, Williams has dedicated his life to serving others in County Wichita and has broken many barriers.
Her cousin Jackie Green said family always comes first at Williams. She made sure to be there for the most important people in her life.
“She loved family, she set the bar for all of us to reach out and always told me and the rest of my cousins that we could be anything and we could do whatever we wanted. do, ”Green said.
Her public service began as a Wichita Falls city councilor, from there she became the first black mayor of Wichita Falls on her recall election and the first black female justice of the peace. Williams’ trail then took her to where she would become the first black female judge.
“I really felt like she had this vision of being the change she wanted to see and she moved beyond it,” community member Andrea Harris said.
Making a monumental history in Wichita Falls, something according to Harris sets the tone for future generations aspiring to serve their community.
“She has been such a huge legacy for our community and not just for women but especially for African American women because she has really paved the way for us so that we can be leaders like she was.” , said Harris.
Williams spent a lot of time volunteering. She served on the Board of Directors of Child Care Partners for almost 40 years and was a long time member of the League of Women Voters in Wichita Falls.
Decades of service, according to his friends, are due to his admiration for this city and its people.
“She meant a lot to this community. This community represented the world to her and she lived here, she loved it here, she fought for this community, she wanted great things for this community and all those who knew her, all those who knew her knew it ”, said a friend of Arthur Bea Dr. Dolores Jackson said.
Her many years of service in Wichita Falls have seen her receive countless accolades. In 2019, the Museum of North Texas History named her a North Texas Legend.
She was also inducted into the North Texas Women’s Hall of Fame and named Wichitan of the Year in 2001. October 15 is Arthur Bea Williams Day and August has been declared Arthur Bea Williams Month.
A great recognition for a woman who has invested a lot in her beloved city.
“She really made an impact on people to make sure that everyone is included or that we have representation from all walks of life,” Harris said.
Those who want to honor her can follow in her footsteps and serve their communities with the love they have for her.
“Remember to love and support each other in our communities. We are a community not separated by borders or postal addresses, but we are a community and that is how she felt, ”Green said.
If you are looking to honor Williams’ memory, her family encourages you to donate to Wichita Falls Child Care Partners which was one of his favorite organizations.