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American Patriotic 10


Bennett James Williams

February 13, 1925 ~ January 20, 2018 (age 92)

   Bennett James Williams, 92, of Litchfield, passed away Sat., Jan. 20, 2018 at 7:58 a.m. at Heritage Health Therapy & Senior Care in Springfield after a brief illness.  Bennett was born on Feb. 13, 1925 to Thomas and Marie (Maynard) Williams in Harrisburg, IL.  He married Evanell Meler on Apr. 2, 1946.  They were married for 63 years.  She preceded him in death on Dec. 24, 2009. 

   Bennett was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. His family could always count on his love and support in any and all situations.  We will forever cherish the wonderful memories and lessons learned from him. 

   Bennett and his family moved to Litchfield in January 1955.  A lifelong coal miner, he worked at Crown I Mine in Farmersville until it closed in 1971 and then at Coffeen Mine until it closed in 1983.  He was very active in the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) for over 70 years.  He held several offices and was currently president of Compac (political action committee).  

   Bennett was a WWII veteran serving as a Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corp from 1943 to 1945.  He spent 16 months overseas and served during the Pacific Theatre in the South Pacific in the Solomon Islands, Bougainville, New Hebrides and Samar participating in air strikes against the enemy.  He participated in the liberation of the Philippine Islands.  He was honorably discharged on Nov. 16, 1945.

   Bennett joined the American Legion in 1945 and was recently awarded a certificate for 70 years of continuous service.  He has served as Commander, County Commander, Vice Commander Finance Officer and member of the Color Guard of Post #436.  He was also a member of 40 et 8, VFW Post #3912 & Prairieland Leathernecks.

   Bennett was an alderman for the City of Litchfield for 16 years (1967-1983) and Mayor Pro-Tem for 6 months.  During his tenure, he was Chairman of the Fire and Lake Departments.  He brought the lack of a sewer system in South Litchfield to the attention of state officials and worked with them and Litchfield mayors to get state funds appropriated to correct inadequate and in some instances totally absent sewage systems. 

   While alderman, he also championed the need for an industrial park in order to bring in sales tax revenue for the city.  This was also accomplished during his tenure.

   While Chairman of the Lake Dept. he sought and obtained grants for boat docks and concrete ramps at Lake Lou Yaeger.  While Chairman of the Fire Department he was instrumental in purchasing the Jaws of Life and other safety equipment.

   Bennett was a member of the Economic Development Council for over 30 years and is now an Emeritus Member.  He served as President of the Litchfield Red Cross Chapter for 10 years and coordinated blood drives with his wife, Evanell.

   He was very active in Democratic politics.  He assisted, chaired, co-chaired and supported many political campaigns.

   Bennett was an avid outdoorsman.  He traveled all over the U.S. and Canada hunting, fishing, white water rafting and skiing.  He loved working on his garden growing vegetable and flowers.  He took great pride in his home and landscape. 

   He was a member of St. Timothy United Methodist Church, Litchfield Moose Lodge #1634 and Disabled Veterans.

   Survivors include daughter, Sandra Klein of Petersburg; son, James Gregory (Susan) Williams of Litchfield; grandchildren, Benjamin Colt Fletcher of Springfield & Haley Marie Williams of Litchfield; great-grandson, Thomas James Abner of Petersburg and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

   Funeral services will be held Fri., Jan. 26, 2018 at 11 a.m. in Plummer Funeral Home in Litchfield.  Rev. James Tinzmann, of St. Timothy United Methodist Church and Rev. Cassie Sexton-Riggs of Union Avenue Christian Church in Litchfield will officiate.  Burial will be in Edgewood Cemetery in Litchfield.  Visitation will be held Thursday from 4 – 7 p.m. in the funeral home.  The family suggests memorials to Litchfield Veterans’ Memorial Garden Fund or Montgomery County Cancer Association.  For more information, to light a candle or sign the online guestbook, please visit




Donations may be made to:

Litchfield Veterans' Memorial Garden Fund
P.O. Box 593, Litchfield IL 62056

Montgomery County Cancer Association Pat Cailey Treasurer
19 Circle Drive, Litchfield IL 62056

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