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WILLIAMS, Lavinia 1864-1899


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 2/24/2019 at 18:37:11

Obituary of Lavinia Williams

Lavinia Williams was born August 17th, 1864, on a farm near Crystal Lake, McHenry county, Illinois, removing in January 1866, with her parents to Grundy county, Iowa. The family first residing on the Hickory Grove farm until 1870, when they came to the Grundy Center home where they have since resided.

She was the third of four children born to Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Williams. Chester, their only son died in 1870, leaving at present, the parents, the oldest daughter, Mrs. Raymond, and Edna, the youngest, surviving members of the family, to mourn the unmeasurable loss which has come to them.

Lavinia attended the public school in Grundy Center and afterward went to Iowa College, Grinnell, where she remained three years, graduating with honor, from the Conservatory of Music in 1885. Returning to her home in Grundy Center, she immediately took up her life work as a music teacher, when she diligently pursued, with incomparable and untiring devotion up to the hour she was called to the bedside of her younger sister about eleven weeks ago, where in company with her mother, she remained working and watching by day and by night, until the aching limbs and throbbing brain refused to sustain her longer, when with great reluctance she lay down upon her bed, never to leave it until Friday afternoon, June 23rd, when after five weeks of sickness and the patient endurance of a christian hero, the sweet, pure, busy and unselfish life returned to God who gave it, but the sweet fragrance of her precious life remains to cheer the burdened hearts of home and friends.

While attending school at Iowa College she made a public confession of her faith in Christ and united with the Congregational church in Grinnell and after returning home, uniting by letter with the Presbyterian church of Grundy Center. To all familiar with the work of the church, it is unnecessary to say, that she never faltered or failed, quick and certain to respond to the calls upon her time and talent in every department of church work. She was kept constantly employed and while encouraging others, always working with her own active brain and willing hands in a most skillful manner, ready to assume the heavier burden and only regretting that she could not do more. Naturally strong and willing, she never thought of herself, but always of others. The words of an unknown poet seems to express something of her busy life.

"All day, all night, I can hear the jar
Of the loom of life, and near and far
It thrills with its deep and muffled sound,
As tireless the wheels go always round.
Busily, ceaselessly, goes the loom,
In the light of day and the midnight's gloom,
And the wheels are turning early and late,
And the wool is wound in the warp of fate."

Sometimes when weary in body and mind, might she well exclaim.
"When shall this wonderful web be done?
In a thousand years, perhaps, in one;
Or to-morrow. Who knoweth? Not thou or I,
But the wheels turn on and the shuttles fly.

Ah, sad eyed weavers, the years are slow,
But each one is nearer the end, I know;
And soon the last thread shall be woven in
God grant it be love instead of sin.

Are we spinners of good in this life-web say?
Do we furnish the weaver a thread each day?
It were better, oh my friends, to spin
A beautiful thread, than a thread of sin."

Pillars of granite and marble are erected to commemorate the lives of many people, but Lavinia Williams has left a more enduring and beautiful monument than any that man's hand can fashion or the most skillful artist can design. It is the living example and the impress of her pure life and beautiful character upon associates and friends during all these years. But true to her life, she ever looked away from self to another pillar, and on it reads "Herein is love, not that we love God, but that He loves us, and gave His son to be a propitiation for our sins." Could her lifeless hand be raised, it would be to Him she would point. Could her voice be heard, it would be of Him she would speak to us all to-day. Could she speak to the church me thinks it might be these words which she repeated in prayer meeting not long since, "Fear not, little flock, for it is your father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." She being dead, yet speaketh. Yes, she speaks to that Sabbath school class. No longer can she stand before them Sabbath after Sabbath, but may not her earnest entreaty for their spiritual welfare remain as a sweet benediction leading them to draw from the riches of God's Word from which she herself was continually supplied. She speaks again to the boys and girls, the young men and women, who have been in her classes in years gone by. She speaks to the Endeavor Society from whose meetings she was never absent if possible to attend. She speaks to the choir and every singer in the church with a tender refrain which seems to say 'Sing for Jesus, Sing for Jesus.' To every member of the church and congregation she will speak by her absence from the Thursday evening meeting where her cheering countenance was always seen and her sweet voice raised in songs of thanksgiving and praise. To all companions and friends she speaks by the acts of her own life in the most potent language, "Look up, Look up to Jesus Christ."

--The Grundy Republican (Grundy Center, Iowa), 29 June 1899, pg 4


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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