The Dad I knew:
By Harry O, Jr.
Harry Williams, Sr. passed away February 2, 2017.
My daddy was a very unselfish, considerate and yielding man beginning with his agreement of allowing his first born son to be named after a close family friend of his loving wife Mattie. His father died when he was very young and his mother Fannie “NOOK” Gray and his sister Red Margaret passed away when my dad was 33-years-old- fifty years ago. My dad routinely gave his mother half of his paycheck, and he always encouraged me to honor my mother every chance I got.
After almost 60 years of marriage to my mother, Mattie Bean Williams, my father passed away but his death to me is not a tragedy because he lived a very good life, leaving behind 3 sons, 10 grandchildren and 6 Great grandchildren. Harry Sr. worked faithfully at Buning the Florist over 50 years and was so highly trusted he was often given the chore of taking his boss’ only child Bonnie to and from school during a time when we still had no civil rights in America. After retirement my parents welcomed their granddaughter Asia into their home to raise her and take up the slack where I was a little negligent, which included daily trips to and from school as well as her after school activities, even providing her with daily lunch money. My father as a pre-teen & teen was often called TRAMP by a few neighborhood friends so he left school to emerge from poverty; however, he made sure that all of his children not only earned their high school diplomas but each also has earned advanced graduate college degrees. My dad was never arrested, never used illegal drugs and more importantly, every single night my brothers and I went to bed and woke up, dad was always in the bedroom with our mother. That in itself was the catalyst of all the successes that his sons enjoy today. His eldest son Elijah has been a Circuit County Judge in Broward County for over a decade. Harry Jr., his second son, has over 30 years of government service and is currently employed with Dade County and his youngest son Bruce is employed with Broward County. His wife Mattie was a LPN, then RN for 40 years before retiring. My father was not only good to his family, he was always good to others as well, even strangers.
We often hear about domestic violence. My father never once hit my mother ever, but I know he must’ve wanted to at least “shake her” when she came to him about naming his firstborn after her family friend Elijah Horne. My father taught us thousands of lessons over the past half century, but three of the lessons that I cherish the most are: 1) Never regret doing the right thing 2) Proverbs 6-2 watch your words 3) Others determine your reputation; only you determine your integrity.
I recall my dad and I stopping at a neighborhood store and he observed several minors using marijuana. He advised all of them to stop using drugs. One of the boys yelled out a little birdie told him that your son Harry Jr. uses drugs, too. My dad replied, well it must’ve been a LOONEY BIRD cause I know my son don’t use any drugs. I was so glad that my dad knew I would not let all of his teachings go for not. The man some called tramp was transformed into a CHAMP by his amazing work ethic and making his most brilliant decision in choosing to wed Mattie Bean.
I miss my father who showed my brothers and me what being a great father is all about. I am praying that our Lord Jesus Christ deemed my father worthy of a resurrection into his kingdom…….Amen
Always remain Professional and respectful !!