Cover photo for John Thomas “Coach Tommy” Williams, Sr.'s Obituary
John Thomas “Coach Tommy” Williams, Sr. Profile Photo
1938 “Coach Tommy” 2023

John Thomas “Coach Tommy” Williams, Sr.

September 20, 1938 — May 6, 2023

Biloxi

John Thomas “Coach Tommy” Williams, Sr., age 84 of Biloxi, MS passed away peacefully surrounded by family on May 6, 2023. Tommy was born September 20, 1938 in Newton, MS. He graduated from Newton High School in 1956, and then attended East Central Junior College. While in high school and junior college he played football and baseball, and he excelled at both, even earning the nickname Touchdown Williams.  He finished his education at the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in education.  Tommy moved to Biloxi in 1963 after marrying his college sweetheart, Ruth.

His love of sports led to a lifelong career in coaching where he influenced the lives of all who he met. Coach Tommy would often drive students to and from practices and games ensuring they were able to participate.  After teaching and coaching nearly thirty years Tommy retired from Biloxi Public Schools, and then he worked an additional nine years at Mercy Cross High School. He also served many years and retired from the Mississippi Army National Guard as a SSG.

Tommy enjoyed fishing, bowling, going to the casinos with dear friends, cheering on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, as well as telling stories and jokes. Known as PePaw to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren he rarely missed an opportunity to watch them play sports or perform, often going to multiple events in one day. Tommy was a member of Nativity B.V.M. Catholic Church.

He was preceded in death by his father, Ollie P. Williams, Sr.; his mother, Blanche L. Williams; his brother, Ollie P. Williams, Jr. and his wife Peggy Williams; his sister, Martha “Gene” Williams; and his great-grandson, Landon Thomas Williams.

Tommy is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Ruth Wallace Williams; his children, Sheila Ryder (Dana), Tommy Williams, Jr. (Tina), David Williams (Donna), and Erin Roy (Paul).  Grandchildren include Katie Williams (Justin), Josh Williams, Morgan McFerrin (Evan), Meagan Simer (Drew), Dustin Carrell (Madison), Jordan Williams, Madison Williams, Jackson Williams, and Neely Roy. Great-grandchildren include Lyla-Kate Williams, Laikyn Williams, Reid Williams, Maddox Williams, Audrey McFerrin, and Remi Simer.

Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at Nativity B.V.M. Friends may visit from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.

Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of John Thomas “Coach Tommy” Williams, Sr.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Thomas “Coach Tommy” Williams, Sr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, May 11, 2023

9:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Nativity B.V.M. Cathedral

870 Howard Avenue, Biloxi, MS 39530

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Mass

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Nativity B.V.M. Cathedral

870 Howard Avenue, Biloxi, MS 39530

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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