OBITUARY: Zella Irene Williams


Zella Irene Williams passed away on February 27, 2024, in Hermitage, TN at the age of 94.

Born on September 27, 1929, Irene grew up in Hartsville, Tennessee, one of 10 children.

She married her second husband, Doug Williams, in 1967 and worked alongside him in tobacco barns and their celebrated Portland strawberry fields for the nearly 50 years of their life together.

Irene was a singer and guitar player who sang in the choir and performed at her long-time church, First Free Will Baptist of Portland. She particularly enjoyed, however, making music with her brothers and sisters.

At the age of 92, Irene reluctantly gave up her car and her independence and moved to Charter Senior Living in Hermitage, where she made new friends and became a beloved member of the community.

She is survived by her daughters, Lisa and Wendy Williams; her son, Rex Williams; her grandchildren, Nikki Dover, Kathleen Cooper, Riley McDowell, Harper McDowell, and Drake McDowell; great-grandchildren, Piper Dover, Kenzie Dover, Hazelle Dover, and Stratton Dover; and her sisters, Janice Rollins and Teva Gregory; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be on Wednesday, March 6th, 2024 from 10:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Wilkinson & Wiseman Funeral Home in Portland, TN, followed by a 2:00 p.m. graveside service at Maple Hill Cemetery.


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