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Gerald Williams
  • September 30, 1943 - August 13, 2019
  • New Orleans, Louisiana

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Gerald V. Williams, Sr. passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on August 13, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was 75 years old.
He was born on September 30, 1943, in Napoleonville, Louisiana and became the sixth of seven children born to Clarence and Clara C. Williams.
He was a lifelong resident of New Orleans and a faithful member of St. Luke's United Methodist Church.
Gerald was a graduate of Joseph S. Clark Senior High School, class of 1961. The standout high school baseball player received a full athletic scholarship to attend Grambling State University. He was a graduate of the class of 1965. After graduation, he fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming a professional baseball player with the San Francisco Giants organization. During his offseason he studied and completed his master's degree of Management from San Jose State University in San Jose, California. A baseball injury led to an early retirement and Gerald returned to his home city. His passion to help others domestically and internationally led him to pursue a master's degree of Public Health and Tropical Medicine from Tulane University in 1973.
Throughout his career, Gerald's research focused on disparities in health outcomes and access to healthcare, particularly those affecting the African American community. His studies pioneered a life of service to his New Orleans community. Partnering with the hematology departments of the Louisiana State University and Tulane University, he founded the New Orleans chapter of the National Association for Sickle Cell Anemia, Inc. This foundation provided access to health services and inclusion in research protocols for those afflicted with the disease, which predominantly impacts African-Americans.
Gerald was an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. where he was President of the Sigma Lambda graduate chapter in New Orleans. He held his fraternity in such high esteem that he frequently requested his children to hold his Alpha mug "high" when bringing him his coffee.
Gerald's service to his community was a lifetime priority. He served on numerous boards including the National and Louisiana Association for Sickle Cell Anemia, Inc., Easter Seals of Greater New Orleans, Total Community Action, Inc., Lafon Nursing Home, Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, Urban League of Greater New Orleans, New Orleans Regional Planning Council, Louisiana Regional Medical Program, Inc., People's United Community Methodist Center, and the St. Bernard Community Council Inc. He also was an associate professor of Louisiana State University School of Medicine. Throughout his years of service he received numerous civic and community awards.
Despite all of his professional achievements, Gerald would tell you his greatest achievement was his family. He truly exemplified what it meant to be a Godly man. Selfless in all of his actions, Gerald was a lifelong role model to his children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends.
Gerald was preceded in death by his parents, the late Clarence E. and Clara C. Williams. Also preceding him in death are two brothers, Calvin (Edwina) and Aaron (Dianne) Williams, and two sisters, Joyce (late Andrew) and Althea (Clarence) Neason.
He leaves to cherish his memory a loving wife of 46 years, Brenda. Two children: Gerald "Jay" (Marie), and Jakeen W. Johnson (Garfield). Four grandchildren: Jackson Williams (mother Quiana T. Williams), Graham Johnson, and Gracie Johnson and Mark Pascua. Three sisters: Eula Dugas, Marva Jones (late Willie) and Brenda Williams. His family, along with a host of nieces and nephews, will continue his legacy of loving and serving Jesus Christ through hard work and a commitment to achievement, selfless acts of kindness, and community service to those in need.
Special thanks to the wonderful care of Drs. Clement Eiswirth and Richard Imsais of Ochsner Hospital. Although brief, the family is forever grateful to the warm and compassionate care of the staff of Sanctuary at Passages Hospice. The family sincerely asks for any memorials to be made to St. Luke's United Methodist Church, in memory of Gerald V. Williams, Sr.
We warmly welcome the members, pastors and friends of the following affiliated churches:
St. Luke's United Methodist Church of New Orleans, First United Methodist Church of New Iberia, and Brooks United Methodist Church of New Orleans. Additionally, relatives and friends are invited to attend the Funeral Services on Saturday August 17, 2019 at 10:00 am, St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 5875 Canal Blvd, New Orleans, LA. Visitation will begin at 8:00 am. The Omega service of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. for members will begin at 9:00 am. Interment immediately following at All Saints Mausoleum, Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd. Arrangements by Duplain W. Rhodes Funeral Home, 3933 Washington Avenue. Please visit to sign the guestbook.