Rev. Kenneth Lane Williams, 83, of Olmsted Falls, died on July 4, 2020. He was the husband of Sharon Williams (nee Feay), and they were married for 44 years.
He was born August 8, 1936, in Strongsville, son of the late Rev. Dr. John Lane and Ruby Williams (Lamont).
He graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1958 and Drew Theological Seminary in 1962. He was ordained in the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church, where he served over a dozen churches as a pastor over 42 years of active ministry, leading congregations large and small, mentoring students through confirmation and seminary, and always seeking opportunities to serve the needs of his community.
He loved singing, having sung with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus under Robert Shaw. He also sang at the Baldwin-Wallace Bach Festival, performing in both the 25th and 75th festivals, one as a student and one as a retiree.
In retirement, he continued to be an active member of the United Methodist Church of Berea, a singer in multiple choirs, a supporter of the arts, and a mentor and encourager of students of music and ministry, as well as enjoying his ever-growing relationships with his children and grandchildren.
Along with his wife, he is survived by his brother, Dr. David Williams (Patricia), of Reston, VA; sons Brice (Ann) and Colin (Yvonne) of Berkeley Springs, WV, and Jonathan (Nicole) of Minerva, OH; daughters Margaret (David Griffiths) of Berkeley Springs, WV, and Rachel (Jason Kulisek) of Marseilles, IL; and six grandchildren.
A memorial service will be planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family invites memorial gifts be given to the United Methodist Committee on Relief either directly (www.umcor.org/donate) or through the United Methodist Church of Berea.
For he is of Scotland...
What does this mean to the world? Another man full of swagger and song? Nae, not always. See well, this one can be still, standing with a silent wisdom. Oh, in days gone by he might raise hell and stand strong when there was a fight to be had. But nary a war cry was needed. In his piercing gaze alone did ye know. His clan’s colors blazed in the sunlight or the rain, and all knew then to whom he belonged.
For he is of Scotland. Every day another field turned, another story told, and another ale raised in celebration of absent friends and talk until the fire showed naught but glowing coals on the hearth. Aye, many a story he told to me, and many shall I tell to my children, remembering his hearty laugh and mesmerizing words. Words that paint pictures in the night until the very stars were hard to see beyond the brightness of the golden tales he spun.
Kind he was and just, but only in time. Stern at first, but all knew: we ask the man who seems to just know. To see more in us than we see in ourselves, and certainly more than we saw in others. Seeing through grief and frustration, he was a mediator, though inside he sighed at the foolishness of those who fought out of pride rather than truth.
When he fought for what was right, he bled the colors of his tartan. Fear was in his enemies’ hearts as he did not merely march forward, but ran toward glory, sword held high. At the end of the battle, he carried that same sword over green hills and through misty valleys until at last, following the soft drone, he heard the ethereal pipes play the song of his heart. Breathing deeply of the evening air, he sighed, knowing he was home.
For he is of Scotland. The moors call to all whose pulse beats in time with the drums. The winds rush down the hills, over mighty stone walls and then stop, playful, at the water’s edge. And he laughs, the voice of his youth once again in his throat. Run through the heather, fair lad, for your clan awaits your return!
-Rachel Kulisek, daughter
Your path may not always have been the same as ours, but you taught us to walk without fear. As we stood for what we believed, we knew you stood with us. I hope that you heard the pipes calling under the full moon as heaven’s gates were opened wide, and when it came time to take your last steps away from this world, I hope that you danced, knowing that your journey was done but your wisdom would never leave us.
It was a good day to die. We love you and will miss you until the pipes call for us.
Your loving clan
A Benediction for My Father
O God, who calls us from death to life
with people of all times and all places,
We give ourselves to you,
for you alone are holy, and you call us to holiness
Day by day,
Moment by moment;
Breath by breath.
We give you thanks for every breath that you have given to this man.
every act of love of his life,
every lesson he taught us through his life,
his wisdom and his mistakes,
We give him back to you now, for he is yours.
He is yours.
He is yours.
Kenneth Lane Williams
August 8, 1936 – July 4, 2020
Written by Rev. Jonathan Williams, son
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