• Williams, Queen Esther

    January 15, 2019
  • Esther Williams was born March 7, 1938, in Concord, Georgia to the late Willie Early Sr. and Inell (Williams) Williams. She was the third of eight children born to this union. Esther graduated from Washington Elementary and Wilbur Wright High School Dayton, Ohio (1955). Subsequently, she attended Dayton School of Practical Nursing from which she received an LPN certificate (1956).

    Although Esther began her career in the medical field her passions were political. Esther relocated to New York, New York wherein she worked as a medical secretary, became an avid art collector, studied politics at NYU and turned her writing hobby into a profession. However, her love and concern for family brought her back to Ypsilanti, Michigan.

    Upon her return to Michigan Esther was employed as a secretary for the Board of Education. She then began a career in banking at the National Bank of Ypsilanti. She enrolled at Cleary College then served as an administrative secretary for the Graduate Dean at Eastern Michigan University. It was at this time she married her talents and passions. She became politically involved in an academic arena. While working and attending EMU she concentrated her studies in politics, law, and industrial relations. This course of action was Esther. It was both personal and pragmatic aimed to assist in the cohesion of better working conditions and union representation for all clerical workers at EMU.  It was both personal and pragmatic aimed to assist in the cohesion of better working conditions for all clerical workers. This was demonstrated by her efforts to organize and become for several years the union representative for the Bargaining Grievance Committee for Local 1975.

    For her dedication, determination, and activism she received both, Woman of the Year and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. awards from EMU. Her tireless work ethic, logical mind, and determined nature were realized again as she was recruited by International UAW. She retired from EMU and began her career in Arbitration at International UAW as an International Representative. Esther traveled the world aligning disputes between labor and management. Her political passion was unquenchable as were her resolute political opinions.

    Esther was a member of Gamma Phi Delta sorority, Omega chapter, Inkster, MI. She was elected to both the Ypsilanti Charter Commission and Gateway Community Council as chairperson. She was a lifelong member of the National Urban League and of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

    Esther accepted Christ at an early age. On Monday, January 7, 2019, she departed this life in peace and was called home to be with the Lord.  She will be greatly missed and remembered fondly by her two sisters Ida and Florence and her nieces, nephews, godchildren other family and special friends. 

    She was preceded in death by siblings Sylvester, Otis, Hobart, Lucille, Willie and two nephews Michael and Cory.

    Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 19, 2019, at Second Baptist Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan with the family hour at 10 am followed by the funeral at 11 am. The Pastor George W. Waddles, Jr., Officiating. Burial will follow at United Memorial Gardens 4800 Curtis Rd. Plymouth, MI 48170.

    The family would like to extend our gratitude to all the staff at No Place Like Home and Glacier Hills (Pavillion) for their attentiveness and loving care. Please sign the guestbook below.


    Praying for my family

    Dear Ida , Florence and family, Please accept our sincere sympathy in the loss of your sister, Esther. May you feel peace and comfort by her relief from pain and gratitude for her well-lived life of service. You are in our hearts and prayers. Bill and Betty Ratcliff

    Sending my prayer and condolences to my Michigan family from your Miami family. I want you to know that although we are far apart I continue to keep each of you in my prayers and heart. Love you all. May God comfort and keep each of your in prefect peace. Granny

    To Ida and Florence and family. Sending prayers to the family. Esther was a friend and Good UAW sister. I remember the barbeques in her backyard. She will be missed,

    Deepest condolences to the family! I knew Esther first as a family (the Lundy's) friend and colleague. Esther was a remarkable, intelligent, articulate wordsmith and she'll be sorely missed I know God WILL comfort and give you strength during this most difficult time and forever! Blessings

    Ida, Florence and family, My deepest sympathy for the loss of Esther. I'll always fondly remember Flo and me going to NYC to visit Esther. You were like a second family to me. In the early years, I spent more time at your house than my own. Love you all dearly..... Val