BY RENEE HENDRIX –
Even as a small child David Williams was drawn to Mena, Ark. “My grandparents lived in Booneville, so when we came to visit we always drove through Mena. Williams stated there was always something about Mena that intrigued me. My dad would take us up Rich Mountain to Queen Wilhelmina State Park.” He remembers well taking a ride on the train and enjoying the scenic beauty. When looking for a place to retire and reside in 2012, Mena was an easy choice for him.
David Williams is a born and bred “Arkansawyer.” Williams was born in Nashville, Ark. where he graduated high school in 1972. With beginnings in a small sawmill, he later went on to work in retail and then pest control before becoming an Independent Insurance agent. Williams then obtained his Bachelors Degree as a History major from Texas A & M in Texarkana in 2001.
In 2003, Williams married the love of his life, Jo Williams and with this union he received a very special extra, Jo’s daughter Tina Estes, who he describes as a miracle of God. Tina was born with a massive tumor that was removed just a few days after her birth. Doctors told her mother that she would never live past the age of 10. Fast forward about 51 years, Tina is living and flourishing, and has become known as the Bearcat’s biggest fan. She is one of the several residents of Polk County that is employed by P.C.D.C (Polk County Development Center). In 2014 she was awarded with the #1 Bearcat Fan of the Year. Williams shared that whether it’s rain or shine, she enjoys attending the games. He went on to share a story about one particular rainy night while the family was attending the local football game, Coach Harper walked by with the football players about to take the field. The Coach turned to his young Bearcats and asked, ‘Do you see that young lady sitting there in the rain, ready to watch you play? You guys go over there and tell her you appreciate her.’ The majority of the players approached Tina and thanked her for coming to watch them play. Williams said, “You’re always hearing bad stuff about our young people, you don’t hear about the good things they do. That night I had tears in my eyes as they thanked my daughter for being their fan.”
A favorite quote of William’s is from Yogi Berra, “It’s not over till it’s over.” He and his wife stay extremely busy in the community with their volunteer work at the Senior Center to being very involved with P.C.D.C. Williams stated he feels like the P.C.D.C store is an upscale resale store and the merchandise is really good there. “It’s a great store and this community is very fortuned to have it.”
In 2014, Williams became a board member for P.C.D.C. One of the things he loves helping with is the Talimena 13.1 Run & Relay. This fun activity starts in Janssen Park and ends at the Queen Wilhelmina lodge. There are three categories: Individual, a 4-person relay and a 13-person relay. This event helps support the programs for mentally and physically challenged adults and children of Polk County. Williams also enjoys hunting and fishing as well as attending games. “I could not make it without my wife, Jo. She is the love of my life, my weaknesses are her strengths and vise versa, I love being married to her.” Williams declared.
Williams finds inspiration in all the areas he volunteers and the many lives he touches… those fortunate to know him find him equally inspirational. “There is something special about Mena, I can’t pinpoint it exactly, but the people here are just great.”