Friends mourn loss of Williams

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 5, 2001

SICILY ISLAND, La. – Many people who knew Sicily Island alderwoman Excelena Williams say it’s hard to describe the love and commitment she showed the community.

&uot;Undescribable,&uot; said the Rev. Dave Mays, pastor of the Rising Sun Baptist Church in Clayton, where Excelena Williams once played piano for the adult and youth choirs. &uot;She is one of the best young ladies I’ve seen in my lifetime. One of the most spiritual people I know. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe her.&uot;

Excelena Williams died Monday after the 1997 Pontiac Grand Am she was driving slid off La. 15 just south of Winnsboro and struck a tree.

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Williams was active in a number of churches in Concordia Parish – especially in the Ferriday and Sicily Island religious circles.

She had been the youth director and pianist at Pilgrim Baptist Church in Sicily Island for more than 15 years.

&uot;She led our youth program, played the piano and helped direct the music,&uot; said Pilgrim Baptist Church Secretary Mary Lewis. &uot;She helped with anything that needed to be done. She did a little bit of everything.&uot;

The Rev. John Lewis, Pilgrim Baptist’s pastor, said she truly was a devoted woman.

&uot;She was good at working with children,&uot; he said. &uot;She was devoted to her church and was the founder and director of the Choir of Faith. She was well liked throughout the community.&uot;

The Choir of Faith was Williams’ pride and joy, musically speaking, Mays said.

&uot;People responded well to her,&uot; Mays said. &uot;She was a dynamic leader. She was always calm and collective. She knew how to handle both young and older people.&uot;