Milestones, Obituaries


Mary Jo (Wilcox) Williams

ARCADIA, Fla. – Mary Jo (Wilcox) Williams, also lovingly known as “Button Jo,” passed away peacefully on March 12, at the Tidewell Hospice House in Arcadia, Fla., surrounded by her loving family. She was 87.

Mary Jo was born in Soddy Daisy, Tenn., on September 27, 1936. Her childhood dream was to join the Air Force, a dream she would fulfill by enlisting in the WAF in 1954. Her service to her country was something she was incredibly proud of, as was her family. Mary Jo rests as an honorary member of the Women’s Military Memorial in Arlington, Va., and a well deserved honor it is. 

In 1965, following her service, she would marry her best friend and the love of her life, Hollis Williams. They settled in Hardwick, Vt., the town in which they met, and raised five beautiful children: David, Dwayne, Dana, Carol, and Cindy.

Throughout her life she worked as a librarian at Hazen Union high school in Hardwick, a secretary at Hardwick Dental Group, and then as an administrative assistant at Morrisville Family Health Care for 18 years, before retiring in 2006.

Mary Jo will be remembered as an incredible and devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, who loved her family unconditionally. The only pride rivaling that of her time in the service, was what she took in attending her children’s (and eventually grandchildren’s) school and sporting events.  She was a den mother for Cub Scouts. She spent countless hours each year sewing Halloween costumes not only for her children, but many others in town as well. Mary Jo regularly received accolades for the best outdoor holiday decorations in town, no matter the season. She was an amazing quilter, baker, and volunteer. 

This was most evident in her dedicating time to the Ronald McDonald House and serving as a wish granter for the Make-a-Wish foundation for several years. She and Hollis were also key supporters of the Jarred Williams Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to assisting families of children with a terminal illness, named after their grandson, Jarred.

Mary Jo is survived by her son Dwayne and wife Maureen, of South Burlington, Vt., daughter Carol and husband Shawn, of Naples, daughter Cindy and husband Ysmael of Naples, and honorary daughter Clara and husband Steve of West Glover, Vt.

She is survived by her many grandchildren who lovingly knew her as their “Grammy Jo”: Christina, Chad, Jayden, Danielle, Kaeta, Gunnar, Lydia, Nicholas, as well as two adorable great grandchildren, Hollis Michael and Ester Louise.

She is also survived by beloved niece and great-niece, Jo Ann Morris and Joni, along with her fellow Tennessee family.

She is predeceased by her treasured brother, Samuel David Wilcox, remarkable sister and friend Polly, loving son Dana, and a very special grandchild, Jarred. She is also predeceased by her closest companion and best friend through life’s journey, her husband Hollis.

Mary Jo touched countless lives over the course of her own, and she will be truly missed.

The family wishes to convey special thanks to Tiffany, Mike, and all the amazing others that cared for Mary Jo at Arcadia Oaks in Arcadia. Words cannot express the appreciation for the love and care you provided.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Make a Wish of Vermont, 6655 Shelburne Rd, Ste. 300, Shelburne, VT 05482, or Lamoille Area Cancer Network, 198 Farr Ave., Morristown, VT 05661.

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