Obituary: Barbara Williams
1934 - 2023
Barbara Williams, a long-time resident of Clarkdale, Arizona, died Oct. 11, 2023 at age 88 while a resident at the Mingus Terrace Assisted Living Home in Cottonwood, Arizona.
Barbara was the second daughter of Joseph and Thelma Sass, born Nov. 27, 1934 in Brooklyn, New York.
Barbara grew up a city girl and attended Catholic elementary and high school, graduating in 1952. She trained as a secretary and one of her fondest memories of professional accomplishment was working as a secretary for a senior administrator at the Sloan Kettering Institute, later renamed Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital in New York City.
Barbara traveled to Arizona in early 1958 to visit relatives who had moved to Prescott, Arizona after WWII.
She extended her stay and got a job at the First National Bank in Prescott.
It was while in Prescott that she met Robert E. “Eddie” Williams, a native of Jerome. They married in November 1960 and moved first to Jerome, then Clarkdale in 1970, where they bought the one and only house they ever owned. While her husband Ed Williams worked for the Phoenix Cement Company from 1960 until 1997, Barbara was a stay at home wife and mother to their three sons.
She only worked outside the home after her youngest son started grade school and she worked as a teachers aide at the same school. She later worked at the T.G.&Y. store in Cottonwood before finding her calling as a travel agent, first for World Tours and later for Bullock’s Travel, both in Cottonwood. This career provided her and Ed with opportunities to travel around the world which they both treasured.
When Ed Williams fell ill with cancer, Barbara became his advocate and her ceaseless devotion to his care over the many years to follow was apparent to all.
Throughout her life and especially during the tough times, her faith in Jesus remained her strength and anchor.
Ed Williams died in 2017 and Barbara grieved his death deeply. Her own health began to decline after Ed’s death and she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2019.
While still able to do many things for herself, Barbara was cared for at home by her sons David and Tim.
Two of her favorite pastimes later in life were Sudoku puzzles and watching Family Feud on TV.
In July of 2023, when it became absolutely necessary for her to receive a higher level of care, she placed in the care of the loving staff at Mingus Terrace Assisted Living in Cottonwood.
Barbara passed away peacefully in her sleep just before 7 a.m. on Oct. 11th with family nearby. Her grief and suffering are over. She opened her eyes to see Jesus waiting with a white robe and her beloved Ed standing next to Him.
Barbara was predeceased by her parents and husband and is survived by her sister Lorraine MacDonald of Bayside, New York. She is also survived by her sons David, Tony and Tim (Robin), eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Special thanks are given to Howie Usher and Amy Stein. For more than 30 years they have been next-door neighbors who became family and their love and kindness to Barbara and Ed was a priceless gift. Additionally, special thanks are given to Sophie and Julia Ballesteros and all the staff and regular customers at Metro Hair in Cottonwood. They cared for Barbara for more than 30 years and were considered family.
Catholic mass and rites of burial will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 11 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on Bill Gray Road in Cottonwood.
An online guestbook is available to sign at WestcottFuneralHome.com.
Information provided by the family.