Avis Norton Williams, 93

OSWEGO, NY – Avis Norton Williams died peacefully at age 93 on Sunday November 2, 2014, at St. Luke’s Nursing Home, Oswego, where she had been a resident for two years.

Born on June 14, 1921, in Machias, NY, she was the daughter of Nina Sprague Norton and Darwin Parker Norton.

Avis was predeceased by her husband of 61 years, the Rev. Roswell G. Williams; three half-brothers, William, Frank and Joel Matteson; her daughter, Susan Williams Vorce; son-in-law, Elliott D. Vorce; and grandson, Lt. Nathan H. Williams, USN.

Raised in Interlaken, NY, Avis was valedictorian of her high school class.

She received her undergraduate degree from the College of Home Economics, Cornell University in 1942, following in the footsteps of her father, Darwin, which her brother, Roger, later did as well.
On July 10, 1943, while teaching home economics in Waterville, NY, Avis married the Rev. Roswell Gridley Williams, who was the rector at Grace Episcopal Church in Waterville.

As was customary at the time, she was forced to resign her teaching position as a married woman.

Their first child, Susan, was born on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Avis spent the next 20 years raising her four children and faithfully fulfilling the role of a pastor’s wife before returning to teaching at Watertown High School.

Avis followed her husband within the Episcopal Diocese of Central NY from Waterville to New Hartford, Oneida and Watertown.

During the Korean War, she traveled with her three children by ship to France to join her husband who was serving as a chaplain in the U.S. Army.

Their love for travel in later years was fostered by the trips they took throughout Europe while residing in Beaugency, France.

Following their retirement in 1978, Avis and Roswell moved from Watertown to Clinton, NY, and finally to Oswego, NY in 2000.

Avis and Roswell enjoyed extensive travel abroad in retirement, including freighter cruises to Africa and South America, and found warmth during winters in Marco Island, Florida.

Avis was a skilled cook, seamstress and homemaker and taught her children these arts.

Born on Flag Day, she loved wearing red, white and blue attire.

Avis is survived by her brother, Roger Norton and his wife, Virgina; sister-in-law, Jean Ashforth; sons Alan and his wife, Gay; Joel and his wife, Alexandra; and Mark and his wife, Jennifer; her grandchildren: Jeffrey Williams, Seth Williams, Sarah Hawkins, Stephen Williams, Owen Williams and Ellen Williams.

Avis is also survived by her great-grandchildren, Henry and Edward Hawkins, Rhys and Ethan Williams; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The funeral service will be observed at St. James Episcopal Church, Clinton, NY, on Saturday, November 8, at 11 a.m., followed by interment at Waterville Cemetery, Waterville, NY.

No calling hours are planned.

Funeral arrangements are with Dain-Cullinan Funeral Home, Oswego.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: St. John Foster Burden Fund, 299 East River Road, Oswego, NY  13126