Virginia Williams, First Lady of Houston Golf, Passes Away

Virginia Williams with her son Joel Williams and her daughter Peggy William Grote

July 13, 2012

UPDATE: Times for Mrs. Williams' funeral services were changed Saturday morning after this story's publication... Monday's funeral will begin at 9:30 a.m., at Evergreen Cemetery with a memorial celebration to follow at 11 a.m., at Wharton Funeral Home. The times listed in the story below are updated.

COLUMBIANA, Ala. - Virginia Williams, widow of legendary University of Houston Golf head coach Dave Williams, passed away Thursday. She was 88 years old.

Born July 19, 1923, in Fayette, Miss., Mrs. Williams' life was a commitment to her husband, her family and her faith. She taught Bible school for decades, enjoyed reading and keeping up with her four grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

She married Coach Williams on Feb. 24, 1943, in State College, Pa., and remained his loyal and loving partner for more than 55 years until his passing on Dec. 16, 1998.

As the unofficial "assistant coach" for Houston Golf, she traveled all over the United States, Scotland, Ireland and Japan and was an asset to her husband and his athletics career for decades.

Mrs. Williams is predeceased by four brothers: Brown Nevels, Wayne Nevels, Joe Nevels, Jim Nevels and one sister Mary Hebler. She is survived by her sister, Martha Ann Evans of Vicksburg, Miss., son Joel Williams and his wife Debbie, daughter Peggy Grote and her husband Steve, four grandchildren: Kellye Demski, Zach Williams, David Grote, Travis Grote and five great grandchildren: MaKenzie Demski, Sydney Demski, Kambell Demski, Ann Reese Grote and Jacob Williams.

Visitors are invited to a time of visitation with family at the Wharton Funeral Home (515 E. Boling Hwy., Wharton, TX) from 6 to 8 p.m., Sunday.

A Christian burial will be held at 9:30 a.m., Monday, at Evergreen Cemetery in Wharton, Texas, followed by a memorial celebration of her life at 11 a.m., Monday at Wharton Funeral Home. Paul Jones, Minister of Abell Street Church of Christ, will conduct the Memorial Service.



Pall bearers are Zach Williams, David Grote, Travis Grote, Greg Demski, Steve Grote and Jim Williams.
In lieu of flowers, the family directs those desiring memorials to the University of Houston Golf Team, 3100 Cullen Blvd, Golf Office, Houston, TX 77204 or the Abell St. Church of Christ, 501 Abell St. Wharton, TX 77488.
Dave Williams served as the golf head coach at the University of Houston from 1952-87 and built the Cougars into one of the greatest programs in NCAA Division I history. During his tenure, he led the Cougars to 16 NCAA team national championships covering four decades with eight of his student-athletes winning NCAA individual national titles. His teams won 341 tournaments covering four decades in 24 states and countries.

Known as the "Father of Collegiate Golf", Williams created the scoring system that is predominantly used in collegiate tournaments today. He also introduced the idea of dressing his teams in similar attire featuring school colors. The Golf Coaches Association of America award presented annually to the nation's top collegiate coaches was renamed in his honor.

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