Carlsbad – Services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, July 10, 2021 for James B. Williams, 88, of Carlsbad, who died June 30, 2021 at Carlsbad Medical Center. The funeral service will be held at Carlsbad First Assembly, 1502 W. Mermod St. in Carlsbad. Visitation is set for 1-6 p.m. Friday, July 9th at Williams’ home church, Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 513 S. Alameda St. in Carlsbad. Interment will be in Marlin, Texas at a later date.
Williams, known affectionately as “Captain Williams” from his 28-year career as a Carlsbad police officer and captain, was born November 16, 1932 in Marlin, Texas, to Fred and Mae Dessie (Harris) Williams. He was raised by his grandmother, Pearl Harris, until he joined the U.S. Army in the fall of 1952. He served through the Korean War and remained active as a member of the National Guard. He was the first sergeant to serve in the New Mexico National Guard.
He met and married Julia Z. Anderson in Marlin on June 13, 1955. The Williamses settled in Carlsbad and began to raise their family. He worked for the government stocking and maintaining the Pecos River before being hired into the potash industry by Mississippi Potash, later becoming National Potash.
He was then hired by the Carlsbad Police Department in 1970 as a patrol officer – the city’s first black police officer. He eventually ascended to the rank of Captain, the rank he maintained until his retirement from the police department in 1998. Williams attended barber college in Tyler, Texas, and was a licensed barber, well-known for his barbershop on San Jose Boulevard.
Williams was extremely active in the community, as he was a member of the Carlsbad Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, Lions Club, American Legion Post 7 in Carlsbad, and the Friday Focus of Carlsbad. He served on the Carlsbad Municipal Schools board of trustees, serving as its president for four years. He
was a member of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and ran a private security company for a number of years. Williams was the first African-American selected as “Man Of The Year” by the Carlsbad Elks Lodge in the early 1980s. At the time of the selection, there were no black members. Soon thereafter, blacks were admitted for Elks membership.
He was a deacon and Sunday School superintendent at Mt. Olive, where the family has been members since first arriving to town. He was instrumental in the formation of the Martin Luther King Foundation of Carlsbad and helped organize The Brotherhood Of Goodwill of Carlsbad.
Williams is survived by his wife of 66 years, Julia, of the home; three daughters, Sandra, of Carlsbad, Trevia, of Albuquerque, and Carmen (Jeff) Flinn, of San Antonio, Texas; five grandchildren, Nadiya (the late Andre) Boldware, of Fairview, Texas; Troy Williams of Carlsbad, Jason Flinn of Austin, Texas, Justin
Flinn of San Antonio, and Kayla Flinn, Austin; and two great-grandchildren, Julianna and Lorenzo Anderson James Boldware, both of Fairview; extended family members Willie Sargent of Garland, Texas, Rosie Rogers of Garland, and Shirley Thomas, of California; and numerous cousins and family friends.
The Carlsbad Police Department expressed its sincerest condolences to the Williams family. “Williams was not only an integral part of the Carlsbad Police Department family during his time here, but he was a pillar in the community, providing service and leadership in many different areas for years after his retirement with the department,” the CPD stated on its Facebook page.
Rev. David McPherson of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, Carlsbad, will officiate Saturday’s service; Rev. R.L. Smith Jr. of Mt. Olive will deliver the eulogy. Rev. Brad Coates is pastor of Carlsbad First Assembly. Services have been entrusted to West Funeral Home. Condolences may be expressed at westfuneralhomellc.com
Published by Carlsbad Current-Argus from Jul. 7 to Jul. 8, 2021.