Potsdam, NY-Debra Ann Williams, 68, of Perrin Road, Potsdam died unexpectedly on Thursday night November 16, 2023 at University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, November 21 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at Lawrence Funeral Home, 21 Park Street, Canton, NY. Additional off-street parking is available behind "LUNA" at 18 Park Street.
Debra was born October 16, 1955 in Canton, New York. She graduated from Heuvelton High School in 1974, and then married Michael M. Williams on October 26, 1974 at the age of 19. Michael served in the US Army so the couple was relocated a number of times including extended stays in Germany and Texas. Debra’s first experience on an airplane was traveling to Germany with a newborn baby to meet Michael on his deployment. She wasn’t afraid of a challenge, and she made even the hardest times seem like an adventure. Debra made friends everywhere she went with her kindness, compassion, and loving heart.
Debra and Michael were not only soul mates with their marriage reaching just shy of 50 years, but they were also best friends. Together they lived life to the fullest, and never lost their sense of fun. They raised four incredible sons with equally as big hearts which extended to eight beautiful grandchildren. Debra and Michael are remarkable parents and continuously put the needs of their children before all else. Their marriage and love continues to be an inspiration to all that had the privilege of knowing them together.
Debra was known to many as a “cool” mom, and later as she was lovingly called “Nana”. Debra was known to enjoy activities right alongside her children including water balloon fights, rollerblading, playing games in the pool, and the list goes on. She made sure her door was open to her children’s friends and made everyone feel welcome in her home. She always enjoyed spoiling her family but especially at Christmas time and it wasn’t uncommon to have multiple “waves” of presents because the packages were far too many to fit in the living room. She enjoyed shopping year round for the holidays and somehow knew the perfect gifts to give.
Debra never stopped learning, growing, and finding new interests. Her path led her to work at Head Start in Ogdensburg, NY for 8 years, and every life that she touched through this career left a long lasting impact. She received a Family Development Credential from Cornell University as well as successfully completing classes at SUNY Potsdam. She was passionate about advocating for children in the community, and wore her heart on her sleeve every day.
Debra enjoyed crafts and there wasn’t one thing that she couldn’t figure out how to do. She loved knitting, sewing, using her Cricut machine, even creating works of art with resin molds - she did it all. Her crafts are spread throughout the community as she was constantly making gifts for friends, selling through Facebook, and creating one of a kind pieces for her family members. Her legacy will live on in many ways but one way is in her beautiful creations. To receive a creation from Debra was a gift straight from her big heart.
Debra loved playing Bingo with her friends, visiting the casino, camping later in life, fishing, and kayaking. She was also a phenomenal baker and shared endless pies, homemade donuts, cookies and her fresh bread rolls with those she loved. She was always a phone call away for her family and friends. She never hesitated to be there for the people she loved, and everyone that knew Debra felt her love deeply. Her smile will forever be remembered, and her generosity will be a guiding example for her family.
Debra’s legacy is in how she treated her family and everyone that came into her life. She has a resilience and strength that was motivational to all. Even on a hard day Debra led with love and a deep willpower to keep going. She loved her family and her family will never stop loving her.
Surviving are her husband, Michael M. Williams and four sons, Paul (Susan) Williams of Plattsburgh, Ryan (Tiffany) Williams of Potsdam, Chad (Jessica) Williams of Rochester and Cory (Molly) Williams of Canton. She is also survived by her beloved grandchildren, Jacob & Tiffany, Kaleb, Payton & Gavin, Chad Michael & Aryanna, and Flora as well as her beloved pets Kali & Mila.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Hope Lodge, 237 East Ave, Burlington, VT 05401
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family by visiting www.lawrencefuneralhome.org