Cover photo for Kathleen M. Williams's Obituary
Kathleen M. Williams Profile Photo

Kathleen M. Williams

Kathleen M. Williams, 74, of Fremont, OH passed away on Feb. 12, 2021. She was born on Aug. 4, 1946, in Lackawanna, NY, the daughter of Leon E. and Irene H. (Smigielski) Dygula. In 1964, she graduated from the Griffith Institute in Springville, NY. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Master’s of Art Education both from Buffalo State University where she also played on the women’s basketball team. Kathy married Rodney E. Williams on June 28, 1969 and he survives.

Between her eclectic job resume, athletic endeavors, and time spent with family, Kathy was never one to sit still for long. While living in Western New York, she was an art teacher at Lackawanna City Schools, wrote a column for the Clarence Pennysaver, played shortstop for the Clarence softball team, and was an accomplished skier as well as a certified ski instructor. Rod and Kathy met at Bob-O-Link golf course and played many rounds at Elma Meadows Golf Course. With Rod as her caddie, Kathy won the Elma Meadows club championship while 8 months pregnant.

The Williams moved to Fremont, OH in 1986 where over time Kathy served in several teaching roles, as an art teacher at St. Joseph Central Catholic High School, a gym teacher at Washington Elementary and a photography teacher at Ross High School. She was a photographer for The News-Messenger. In addition to general news contributions, she especially enjoyed her weekly photo feature called the “Bright Spot,” which celebrated good happenings in the community.  She was also a volunteer for Meals on Wheels in Toledo.

Kathy was a talented golfer, winning the club championship at Fremont Country Club a whopping 14 times. She loved traveling to play competitively in the Toledo Women’s District Golf Association for more than 25 years. Her humor often came out on the golf course where she treasured spending time with friends.

She was known for her sharp wit, and wasn’t afraid to suit up in costume for a laugh, dressing up as a nun, randomly visiting FCC as “an old lady,” or inventing characters like “Rotunda Bunsagger,” the Jazzercise instructor. She even created a life-sized golf cart riding partner named Delores Deafear.

Kathy was a dedicated parishioner of St. Joseph Catholic Church for more than 30 years and took great joy in singing in the choir for more than 15 years. She loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren. Rodney’s affectionate nickname for her was “Birdie,” an ode to her superior ability to give orders and supervise those around her. Kathy could light up a room with her energy. She loved Christmas-time. She was an exceptional wife, mother, friend, teacher and caregiver to all.

In addition to her husband of 51 years, Kathy is survived by daughters Rebecca (Chad) White of Golden, CO, and Sarah (Tim) Mayle of Findlay, OH; grandchildren CJ, Ben, Cameron and Rosalynn; and sisters Pauline Pavlica of Austin, TX, and Christine (Donald) Altmann of Colden, NY.

She is preceded in death by her parents.

Visitation: Friday, February 19, 2021 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Wonderly Horvath Hanes Funeral Home and Crematory, 425 E State St., Fremont, OH.

Mass of Christian Burial:  Saturday, February 20, 2021, 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 709 Croghan St., Fremont, OH.

The use of face masks is required while indoors at all services. Social distancing will be observed throughout all services with wait times taking place outdoors. If you would prefer, you may express your condolences below or call the funeral home at 419-332-6409 to request that your name be signed in the guest book.

Memorials can be made to St. Joseph Catholic Church or the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation at

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