Dillard Williams, age 90, long time Sweetwater resident, passed away from this life Sunday morning, Aug. 12, 2012 in Midland, Texas. Services will be held Wednesday, Aug. 15 at 10 a.m. at the Cate-Spencer & Trent Funeral Home Chapel in Sweetwater, Texas with Rev. Phillip Thomas officiating. Burial will follow at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Merkel, Texas. Arrangements are under the direction of Cate-Spencer & Trent Funeral Home.
Dillard was born March 24, 1921 in Noodle, Texas to Lee D. and Callie Horton Williams. The youngest of eight siblings, his childhood was spent in the Noodle farming community and he graduated from the Noodle-Horn School. In later years, Dillard frequently reminisced about his memories of his four older brothers and three sisters and growing up during the Depression. Three weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Army Air Corp in December of 1941. When discharged in October 1945, Dillard had attained the rank of Staff Sergeant and had participated in the air war in the European Theater. Based out of England, he served in the 388th Bombardment Group. As a waist gunner on a B-17 aircraft, Dillard completed more than 40 bombing raids, including several missions over Germany. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters.
Dillard married Mary Callaway Jan. 24, 1954, at First Baptist Church of Sweetwater. Their 58-year marriage was a source of comfort to them and encouragement to their children and grandchildren. Dillard spent many years farming in the Noodle community and in later years was employed at the Rolling Plains Hospital in Sweetwater. He retired in 1988.
Dillard was a member of the Encouragers Bible class at First Baptist Church Sweetwater. He served in the honor guard of the Sweetwater Veterans of Foreign Wars for several years. During his retirement, Dillard and Mary enjoyed researching their familiesâ€™ genealogies and traveling to places of historical significance to their families. Dillard was a wildflower enthusiast and his yard was often full of wild poppies, bluebonnets and other native flowers. He also enjoyed working on his coin collection and reading about World War II.
In February of 2011, he moved to the Manor Park Retirement Community in Midland, Texas.
Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Mary Williams of Midland, Texas; two daughters, and their families: Gwen and Larry Koenig of Spring, Texas and Kathy and Mike Hester of Midland. Grandchildren include Cpl. John and Jessi Koenig of San Diego, California, Luke Koenig, Marianne Koenig, and Andrew Koenig all of Spring, Texas, Mike J. and Alex Hester of Oklahoma City and Lcpl. Jordan Hester of Washington D.C. Dillard is also survived by seven nieces and six nephews.