Over the past few days I have had a chance to reflect on losing my longtime friend Sheriff "Big" John Williams of Lowndes County. We rose through the ranks together in our home county Sheriff's Office. John and I were deputies together in the 80's, both Chief Deputies in the 90's, and then served as Sheriff together in our respective counties.
"Big" John loved his community and his Calhoun High School Basketball. As Chief Deputy, he would always travel with the team to Troy University, where the high school basketball Regional Playoffs were held. I would go over and visit with him and watch the games. In the gymnasium of Calhoun High School there is a picture of the State Championship Basketball team of the players, coaches, and "Big" John. His high school, Calhoun, and my high school, Goshen, were in the same 2A area and we would often talk about our sports program.
In 2012, I was in Hayneville for a high school baseball game my son was playing in. One of his deputies called and told him that I was there and he came to the park and watched my son, Russ, play the entire game. That was the kind of friend he was to me and so many others. Later on his daughter came to Troy University and we talked often. I have a lot of good memories of my friend whom I knew for almost four decades.
He loved his family very, very much and family was very important to him. Sheriff Williams loved his church and his community and loved serving as their Sheriff. He will always be remembered as an Alabama Sheriff.