Irene Williams Obituary

Irene "Brownie" Williams

January 9, 1921 - September 20, 2017
Born in Seymour, TN
Resided in Maryville, TN
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Brownie Williams, 96, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 20. She was born Wilma Irene Shelley on Jan. 9, 1921, to Oscar and Ezalee Shelley of Seymour, Tenn., but was called Brownie by her Harrison-Chilhowee High School classmates because of her beautiful brown eyes. The nickname stuck for the rest of her life.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Clyde E. Williams, long-time proprietor of Williams Furniture Co. She was bookkeeper for the business and, when needed, minded the store, taking payments from credit customers, making sales, and scheduling deliveries. Their three children also spent some years working at the family business before pursuing other careers.

Brownie met Clyde while she was attending Maryville College where she helped earn her way by working in the maid shop, sewing nurses’ uniforms. They married on Dec. 5, 1941, and learned about the attack on Pearl Harbor while honeymooning at the Greystone Hotel in Gatlinburg.

They were long-time members of First Baptist Church in Maryville, Tenn., where Clyde served as a deacon and Brownie was at various times the Vacation Bible School director, a Brownie Scout troop leader, a children’s choir pianist, and a senior choir member, among other roles. They formed many strong friendships early through their young married adult Sunday School department and kept those friendships through the decades. Brownie was a caring person who often took food as she visited women who were facing serious illness or other life crises.
She loved music, sewing and gardening. Her music interest was encouraged by her father who sang in the Smoky Mountain Quartet and played the fiddle and mandolin. He let her take piano lessons, bought her a piano, and made her the accompanist for the quartet. Late in life she bought a violin of her own and learned to play it.

Her mother taught her to sew and she made her first dress when she was 10. She took home economics in high school and college and polished her sewing skills while working at the Maryville College maid shop. She made clothes for herself, her sisters, her children, her grandchildren and anyone else who was interested. She also could be counted on for quick alterations of store-bought clothes.

Like many of her friends, Brownie was an avid gardener and her children especially counted on her White Half-Runner green beans, Better Boy tomatoes, and Granny Pickles. After Clyde’s death, her neighbor, Larry Phillips, was a big help in keeping the garden each year.

Brownie is survived by her son, Darryl (Karen) of Columbia, S.C., daughter, Ruthie (Buddy Fey) of Memphis, Tenn., and son, David (Donna Kay) of Liberty, Tex.; grandsons Greg (Sing) of Maplewood, N.J., Jeff (Lisa) of Roswell, Ga., Brian (Brooke) of Fruitland Park, Fla., and Jonathan (Jessica) of Houston, Tex.; great-grandchildren Sophie, Caroline, Lilly, Ainsley, Braxton, Gracie, Clyde, Silas, and Elijah; a sister, Ruby McCulley of Royston, Ga.; and several nieces and nephews. Her other sister, Mary Sue Parton of Seymour, preceded her in death.

The family will receive friends 5:30-7:00 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23, with funeral services following at 7 p.m. at McCammon-Ammons-Click Funeral Home, 220 W. Broadway Ave., Maryville, Tenn., the Rev. David Williams officiating. Burial will be at 11 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 24, at Grandview Cemetery.




McCammon-Ammons-Click Funeral Home
220 W. Broadway Ave.
Maryville, TN US 37801
Saturday, September 23, 2017
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
McCammon-Ammons-Click Chapel
220 W. Broadway Ave.
Maryville, TN US 37801
Saturday, September 23, 2017
7:00 PM
Grandview Cemetery
2304 Tuckaleechee Pike
Maryville, TN US 37803
Sunday, September 24, 2017
11:00 AM