Reverend Xavier Ross Williams, age 94, passed away on December 30, 2020. He was born in McCurtain County, Oklahoma on July 31, 1926 to Clarence Otto Williams and Ora Carter Williams. Ross (as he was called by family and friends) was a graduate of Vandervoort High School, Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. He also served in the United States Navy during WWII.
Ross married the love of his life, Elva Lou Francis Stewart on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1947, in Wickes, AR. Two years later, he was called to preach the Gospel and moved his wife and 2 children to Fouke, AR where he began preaching at his first church in Red River Bottoms. Ross and his wife, Elva, spent the next 55 years faithfully serving the Lord in the Gospel Ministry, as he pastored many churches throughout Arkansas. Most of this time was in Smackover, AR, Mt. Ida, AR, and Mena, AR. Ross also served as the Director of Missions during a portion of this time. Ross officially retired after acting as interim pastor to Vandervoort Baptist Church in Vandervoort, AR in 2004.
In addition to serving in the ministry, Ross owned and operated several family businesses, including fabric stores, building supply stores, farmland with cattle, and upon his retirement, he owned the fuel base operations at the Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport.
When Ross wasn’t working in the church or his other businesses, he loved to spend time fishing on the lake, piloting his airplane, wood working in his shop, or gardening. He loved when his grandchildren or great grandchildren would come to stay.
Ross was proceeded in death by his wife, Elva Lou Francis Williams; his parents, Clarence Otto Williams and Ora Carter Williams; his brother Raymond Williams; and his sisters, Frieda Hilton, Bettye Mae Jones, and JoAnn Basford.
Ross is survived by his children: one son and daughter in law, Gary and Sharon Williams of Mena; one daughter and son in law, Donna and Hal Merriman of Jacksonville; six grandchildren, Kristi and Steve Schuller of Mena, Kevin and Tiffany Williams of Mena, Keith and Amber Williams of Mena, Melissa and Robert Kennedy of Maumelle, Kyle and Cori Williams of Springdale, Kimberly and Chadd Williams of Siloam Springs; nine great grandchildren, Olivia Lockhart, Andrew Davis, Alexis Williams, Nicholas Williams, Tessa Williams, Jenna Williams, Grayden Kennedy, Everly Kennedy, and Aubrey Williams; three step grandchildren,Taylor and Allie Schuller, Kyndon Schuller, and Kasen Schuller; one sister, Wanda Jones; and a large number of nieces and nephews. Most notably, niece Anita Nault, who has been a caregiver for Ross for the last three years.
A Graveside Service will be held Monday, January 4, 2020 at 10:00 am at the Pinecrest Memorial Park in Mena, Arkansas with Brother Russell Threet officiating.