Mary Frances Conner Williams, 89, passed away on April 3, 2022 at her home in Pulaski, Virginia after a short hospitalization. She was surrounded by her family. Beneath a clear blue sky the many-varied daffodils planted and tendered by her hands were in their full splendor.
Mary Frances was born on December 27, 1932 and grew up on her parents’ small dairy farm in Copper Hill, Virginia. She helped milk the cows, by hand in those days, and relieved the boredom by simultaneously reading or working on her schoolwork. Her industriousness paid off and she graduated valedictorian of Check High School Class of 1949.
She worked a number of jobs throughout her life but is probably best remembered as part owner of Pharmacy Associates, Inc. which operated hometown pharmacies Pulaski Drugs and Dublin Pharmacy (among others) for many years before being dissolved in 1996. After she retired she channeled her energies and flair for the meticulous into genealogy and compiled a near-exhaustive history of her maternal (Boone) and paternal (Conner) lineages. Her work often took her into dusty courtroom basements and overgrown disused cemeteries but she loved every second of it. She eventually published her work and was always more than happy to share her research with other genealogists as well as local historical societies. In her mid-70’s she again served her community by volunteering a few days a week at the Wilderness Road Regional Museum in Newbern, Virginia.
Mary Frances wore many hats throughout her life – daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, cousin, aunt; not to mention Voracious Reader (she was particularly enamored with the novels of T.R. Pearson who lunched with her once and later became an email buddy), Kitchen Whiz (many a recipe was better for having been tweaked by her), Crossword Puzzle Enthusiast (she could have done them in ink but why show off), British Murder Mystery Aficionado (Inspector Morse Midsomer Murders being a couple of favorites), Destroyer of Weeds (the fruitfulness of her daffodils, irises, lilies, hyacinths, and peonies will attest to this) and Expert on All Matters Genealogical (she could and WOULD elaborate the difference between a second cousin and a second cousin once removed).
She was preceded in death by her parents Oliver Noel Conner and Mary Hazel Boone Conner, whom she helped care for when they each faced daunting health issues, as well as her husband of 54 years, Fred Lee Williams, whom she also cared for during the last year of his life. Also preceding her were her beloved cats Tigger, Roo, Winnie, and Christopher Robin. She is survived by her daughter Mary Leigh Williams (Dublin VA), son Mark Steven Williams and his wife Martha Jane Frye Williams (Pulaski VA), granddaughter Michelle Leigh Williams Radtke, Michelle’s husband Jacob Andrew (Jake) Radtke, great-grandsons Henry Williams Radtke and Ezra Lee Radtke (Wilmington NC), brother Noel Boone Conner (Powhatan VA), and sister Virginia Carol Conner Whittaker (Peterstown WV).
The family wishes to thank the many wonderful caregivers at LewisGale Pulaski, the offices of Dr. Paul D’Amico and Dr. Owen Roberts, Intrepid Hospice, and all the nurses at the Infusion Center whose sunny dispositions and capable caring hands made for the best medicine of all.
Services will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2022, at 3:00 PM at Norris-Stevens Funeral Home. The family will receive friends from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM on Saturday prior to the service, at the funeral home.
The family is in the care of Norris-Stevens Funeral Services. Online condolences can be made at www.stevensfuneralhomepulaski.com