Mrs. Williams taught my 11th grade English class in the mid-90's. Through that class she introduced me to several works of literature, including the Thornton Wilder play "Our Town".
In the play there’s a pivotal moment when the girl, who has died and been given permission to revisit her 11th birthday, begs her mother to “look at me as though you really saw me!” Then the lament when her mother does not, and the thought that only the "saints and poets" realize life while living it, and even then only sometimes.
In that class all those years ago, I remember Mrs. Williams asking whether Wilder had gotten that right -- whether most of us live out our lives with blinders and fail to realize life while living "every, every minute."
There have been moments in the years since, still far too rare, when I catch myself appreciating life as I'm living it. Usually it's in smaller moments with my kids when I sense the fleeting nature of the moment, and I desperately want to hold onto it fiercely even so.
It's in those moments that I remember "Our Town," and it's in those moments I remember Mrs. Williams, because she's the one who led me there in the first place. To me, she was (and is) among the "saints and poets" who not only realized life while living it, but helped the rest of us to do the same.
I was so sorry to hear about Diane. She was so special. I enjoyed our recent get togethers in Old Forge with all the girls.
I will cherish the bookmarks that she made and sent to me after our most recent get together last November. My deepest sympathy to all of her family and to Steve. We will all miss her and will celebrate her wonderful life when we gather together again. Much love, Carol
Very fond memories of Mrs. Williams. I was a student of hers in the 1980's at the Ilion Jr /Sr High School. She was a wonderful English teacher. Her inspiration and love of literature has influenced many students. I took from her class a great love for reading to this day.
Michael and family, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Flooding you with love and fond memories of your sweet mom. She was an amazing teacher and loved by the entire Ilion community. God bless.
I am so sorry to hear of Mrs. Williams' passing. I have such fond memories of her and of her class. She made such a lasting impression on me. I have often told my friends about her and her love of literature. She was so kind and such a wonderful person and teacher. RIP. Many blessings
Our sincere love and sympathy to Diane's family. We will always cherish our wonderful memories of good times (and there were many!!) shared with Dee, Diane and their family. We feel blessed to have known them.
Rip Mrs. Williams, you were a great teacher at Herkimer Central.
Very sorry to hear about the loss of Mrs. Williams. Sincere condolences to her family and friends. Al and Adrienne Beyer (Springfield, VA -- friends of Mike Williams).
So very sorry for the loss of Mrs. William's. It was a pleasure to have her and Steve for neighbors. May the family find joy knowing she had touched so many lives as a teacher
May the joy of reading and what she taught live on in the minds of all she helped and came in contact with.
Joan, so very sorry to hear about your sister Diane’s passing. Please accept my sincerest condolences. Sending prayers to help you through this difficult time.
My heart goes out to all her family. She was a special lady and a good friend. My memories of Diane go back to grade school (hall monitors and dodge ball) and beyond. In high school it was the PJ parties as we all arrived with blankets and pillows preparing to sleep on the floor to tell ghost stories, giggle and laugh and to talk about the boys. Then more laughter as parents would call out that it was lights out time. That did not stop us! College and raising families and living in far away places did not stop our friendship. Once I stopped at her house unannounced when I was taking my daughter on college visitation trip which took us right by Ilion. Diane welcomed me and fed me lunch. When I moved to CT she and Steve came to visit the area and we had a memorable trip to the casino and a fabulous scallop dinner. We always stayed in touch through her steady stream of emails. The most recent times of laughter and memories have occurred when the girls of '61 get together in Old Forge. Diane was always upbeat even through all of her physical discomfort She will be missed by many, but especially me.
Our heartfelt sympathy to the Williams family. Prayers for strength and comfort to her loved ones and friends.
Dear Brian, Mike, & Joan,
Our deepest sympathy