Paul L. Williams

January 14, 1929 ‒ April 01, 2016

Bellville, Ohio

BELLVILLE: A truly rich man is one whose children and grandchildren run into his arms when his hands are empty.  To his family, Paul Williams was many things; provider, protector, encourager, compassionate, faithful, pa-paw, grandpa, dad, and husband.  Paul was easy to love and could offer the most inviting hug imaginable.

On April 1, 2016, Paul L. Williams, of Bellville, passed away at home, in the town in which he was born, surrounded by the family that he loved.  He was 87.

The son of Alex and Leeta (Poorman) Williams, Paul was born January 14, 1929 in Bellville and was graduated from Bellville High School.

At the Malabar Farm annual barn dance, he first met Ruth Streib.  The couple was married a year and a half later on August 20, 1950. Together they raised their family of three children on a rural Bellville farm, sharing one life for over 63 years.

Hard working, Paul loved to work the land.  He mostly farmed beef and grain.  Paul also drove for Consolidated Freight Way and retired from Signal Trucking.  He never sat still, and loved life, which in many ways meant remaining active and working.  Even a few weeks ago Paul was outside cutting wood and riding his tractor!

He was a long-time member of Chapel Hill United Methodist Church where he previously served as Sunday School Superintendent.  Recently Paul loved attending the Journey services on Wednesday evenings.

All the way back to their courting days, Paul and Ruth shared a love for dance. He was a founding member of the Johnny Appleseed Square Dancers, and started Buckeye Country Cloggers in the 1980’s.  To this day, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren carry on his family’s legacy of clogging.

To say Paul enjoyed bluegrass music would be an understatement.  To him, bluegrass was the only “real music” worth listening to. He loved to camp and travel. Their excursions led Paul and Ruth all over the continental United States and Alaska.  Often saying, “Let’s take the scenic route!”  His family knew that to travel with Paul meant back roads, few stops, and an additional half days travel.  To Paul, part of the vacation experience was getting to the destination.

Paul loved ice cream, especially making his signature homemade ice cream.  Birthday parties and family get-togethers always included his delicious dessert.

Paul is survived by three children Les and Linda Williams, Mary and Bob Layfield, and Patricia Dion all of Bellville; six grandchildren Jamie and Matt Emerson, Kim and Greg Lifer, Brian and Shawna Dion, Tracie Williams, Donny and Jessica Fiant, and Belinda and Greg Fox; great grandchildren Brady, Allie, James, Annabelle, Luke, Grace, Henry Paul, Shad II, Emma, Mia, Liliann, Dalton, Dylan, and Devon. Also surviving are his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Joan Williams, Wilbur Streib, Darla Peck and Larry Streib, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents Paul was preceded in death by his beloved wife Ruth Williams who passed away May 4, 2014; and brother Robert Williams.

Friends may call Monday, April 4, 2016 from 4-8 pm in the Bellville Snyder Funeral Home. The funeral service giving glory to God for the life of Paul L. Williams will be held Tuesday, at 11 am in Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, 3716 Bellville North Road, Mansfield.  The Rev. Laura White will officiate and burial will follow in Bellville Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Jefferson Township-Bellville Fire Department or Chapel Hill United Methodist Church.

To view Paul’s tribute video or leave a message of condolence to his family please visit:

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  • We are deeply saddened by the loss of a very good man. May God provide you comfort and peace in the days ahead.

  • Prayers to all of Paul’s family. May God wrap you all in comfort. He was a wonderful man and I enjoyed my conversations with him over the years. He always had so many fun stories. He will truly be missed. Love to you all.

  • Extending my sympathy for the lost of a very special man. A special memory was of Paul and Ruth square dancing, Ruth got tired and asked me to take her place, I did, I wore out and he was still raring to go. Such a fun time! Your memories will be a blessing for each of you.God Bless!

  • So sorry to hear the passing of your dad, prayers and thoughts are with you at this time

    Doug and Bonnie Rebman

  • Condolences to Paul’s family. He was truly a very special man and will be missed by all those who knew him. Our thoughts and payers are with his family.

  • So very sorry to hear of the passing of an especially good man! I grew up neighbors to Paul and Ruth and was blessed to have Paul as a 4-H advisor for years. Paul had many talents and enjoyments,including motorcycles, which helped me in convincing my mother to allow me to finally have one
    Prayers to the family in this time of sorrow. Smile with the knowledge that there will be a clogging party in Heaven soon!!

  • Jamie and Matt, We were so sadden to hear of your loss. Paul was a wonderful man with a terrific smile and laugh. Our Ohio trips weren’t complete until we stopped by for a visit with him. He always welcomed us and made us feel like family. Wish we could be there, but know that you all are in our hearts and prayers.

  • Thoughts and prayers are sent to the family of Paul Williams. I met Paul and Ruth 23 years ago when I became a Buckeye Country Clogger. I have never met such a loving, caring, and giving couple. I remember my first lesson with Paul. I will cherish the wonderful memories of the years of dedication Paul and Ruth gave by sharing their home and their time to allow us to learn clogging. I have had such enjoyment dancing for others at fairs, nursing homes, and workshops. Thanks Paul for your friendship. You will be missed. Peace

  • Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time. Paul was such a wonderful person and I am so glad I was at the Clogging Workshop in February and got to give him a hug. I just know that Paul, Ruth, and Dorothy Guth are clogging for Jesus!

  • Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time. Paul was such a wonderful, kind man and I am so glad that I saw him in February at the Clogging Workshop and was lucky to get a hug! I know that Paul, Ruth, and Dorothy Guth are cloggin for Jesus!

  • So sorry to hear of Pauls passing. I worked with him at Consolidated Freightways for many years and always enjoyed being around him.
    Jeff Peiffer

  • May God be with all of us who loved Paul Williams. Jackie and I will miss his smiles, his hugs, and his loving ways of talking & treating people.

  • I am so saddened to hear the passing of Paul. To his family my deepest sympathy and prayers. You guys were so good to visit my mom, Mary Alice. My dad, Eugene, and Paul grew up together in Bellville. I will always remember the great times at Pleasant Hill church, Grange, and 4-H. We could not have grown up in a better environment nor had a better time as kids. Your dad, Paul, was a great role model.
    I very much enjoyed visiting with your dad. The last time was this January of 2016. Every time I saw and talked to him, I felt a connection to my own dad who has been gone for so long. I will miss Paul. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all.

  • We were saddened to hear of your loss. Will always have memories of being neighbors,relatives,and good times together. Wishing you and your families strength and peace.

  • Will surely miss, Paul! He and Ruth were so special! Our deepest sympathy to his family. We had the pleasure of knowing them since 1968. But, we know that God has them together, dancing in Heaven!

  • We are extending our deepest sympathy to the whole William’s family.
    Treasure the many memories that you have of your mother and father.
    They were the best of friends and relatives to my parents and to our family.

  • I did not know all that well but I can tell you if he is anything like his son, Les or his grandson Brian comma he is and was a wonderful man. They say the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and if he was anything like either one of those two he was truly a great man. What a wonderful family and so sorry to hear about their loss.

  • Dear Williams Family: I extend my sincere condolences for the loss of your
    father, Paul Williams. not only from myself, but from the entire Bellville Fair Board.
    Paul & Ruth Williams made a great contribution in past Bellville Fairs.
    May you find peace in knowing that your parents are together again.

    Bob McConkie

  • I’m so terribly sorry about your loss. Paul was a very special man. Although I only knew him for a few months, Paul always made me smile and feel like a true member of the Buckeye Country Cloggers. My favorite memory is when I mentioned that I would attend as many clogging events as I could, including the Bellville Street Fair, Paul looked at me and jokenly said, “You better!”. 🙂 May the Lord hold Brian, Jamie and all of your family in the palm of His hand during this hard time. You’re all in my prayers.

  • To Bobby and Mary and the entire Williams family my condolences go out to the family. He will be truly missed.
    My thoughts and prayers are with the family. God Bless.

  • To the whole Williams Family, we were so very sorry to hear of Paul’s passing. He had a smile on his face and a kind word for everyone around him. You will be in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

  • To the Williams Family. We were saddened to learn of the passing of your father, grandfather, and leader. Paul was a very compassionate, fun loving Christian man. He will be missed by each of you and each one of you will carry special memories of your very own. May you be at Peace knowing that he and Ruth are once again united in the Kingdom of God.

    Peace,Love and Prayers,
    Gail and Mike Hreha

  • The Williams’ family has been a valued part of the neighborhood as long as we can remember. We’ve been neighbors for over 30 years and the Williams family was here long before we were. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of Paul’s and Ruth’s families and friends and will continue to treasure our Bellville friends and neighbors who make this such a special place to live.

    Loving prayers,
    The Tom Carroll Family