Willie was born November 25, 1935 in Mason, Tennessee to the union of Mariah and Willie Green Williamson Sr. Mariah died when he was a toddler, Willie was then raised by his Grandmother Mattie and his uncle Louis Taylor Sr. Mattie and Louis moved to Ohio and left Willie behind with one of his grandmother’s friends to finish high school at Booker T. Washington in Memphis, Tennessee. While there he provided for himself by working in the neighborhood store and shining shoes. After graduating high school he joined his grandmother and uncle in Cleveland, Ohio and later joined the United States Army, served his country and received an honorable discharge.
Before going into the military Willie married Carole Ambler in 1954 and to this union, four children were born; Brian, Valerie, Cheryl Williamson, and Marcia Williamson-Mays. After the military Willie was unable to find steady employment so he worked for the Yellow Cab Company until he received his first job for the City of Cleveland in the Purchasing & Supplies Store Room as a Stock Clerk under the Carl B. Stokes Administration. Willie worked hard with Commissioner, William Moon in September of 1969 to become the first African American Buyer for the City of Cleveland. Continuing to diligently achieve higher accomplishments while still in the Purchasing and Supplies Department he finally retired in April 1999 as Project Director.
Willie married Marilyn accompanied by Jeffrey and Shelley Smith his step children in 1996 and they remained married until God called him home. Willie loved life to the fullest, he had a zest for trying his hand at any and everything his heart desired. He owned a beverage store called “Tara Beverage” on East 93rd Street and Union, he owned property and he was a Mason. Willie was most famous for his annual “Thanksgiving Eve Birthday Party” held at various venues throughout the years (Lancers, The Reasons Why, The Togo Suite and The Colombo Room), which was known by many and anticipated by hundreds of family and friends.
Willie leaves to mourn his life, beloved wife, Marilyn; one son, Brian (Fern); three daughters, Valerie, Cheryl and Marcia (Maurice Mays); Step Children, Jeffrey Smith (Monica), Shelley (Morris Herndon); 5 five grandchildren, LaNesha (deceased), Maurice (b.k.a. Marty), Marcelus, Antonio and Brian Jr., three great grand-children, Rihanna, LaShawn, A’niya, a host of relatives and friends.
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