Katherine (Kathy) Norris (Bingham) Williams, age 71, passed away peacefully November 7, 2019 due to respiratory and renal failure. She was born August 3, 1948 in Blountville, Tennessee to Vivian (Ball) and Robert Bingham. She was proceeded in death by her mother and half brother, Alfred Bingham. She married her friend and love, Larry Williams, on Valentine’s Day of 1993. Larry is a true testament to their marriage vow “in sickness and in health” as he remained by her side from every doctor’s visit to beach trip to surgery to family gathering.
Kathy loved people and radiated Christ’s love. Through World Vision, she sponsored a beautiful seven-year-old girl named Karol Rachel from Honduras and loved reading her handwritten letters and writing back to her. She and Larry were members at First Baptist Blountville Church and loved the community there. She constantly shared inspiring words and photography on her Facebook feed and enjoyed seeing reactions from friends and family.
One of her favorite pass times was playing card games. She was a member of a Bridge group and loved hosting them at her and Larry’s home. When her grandkids Amber and Austin were younger, they tried to show her how to play a new monopoly card game. The new game was a challenge, so instead Kathy said she’d teach them how to play Rook. It was a difficult game at the ages of 12 and 14, but they caught on quickly and the game became a weekly Sunday after dinner family tradition. With Mammaw’s competitive spirit, she’d always say “I get the worst hands” and then sweep the table. Other than playing card games, she and Larry loved to open their home to family and friends. Each Memorial Day and Independence Day, family would gather, eat watermelon, grill out hot dogs, hit croquet balls, play billiards, roll some skee balls, and swim. Thanksgiving and Christmas were also special family gatherings. Every Christmas even last year, Mammaw, Amber, and Austin made homemade sugar cookies and decorated them for Santa.
She was a proud grandmother who was able to attend several graduations and most recently a beautiful wedding. She crocheted the flower girl’s dress for her granddaughter’s wedding on October 12, 2019. The excitement on her face to see the flower girl in the dress on the wedding day was priceless. Her favorite pass time with her husband and family was to go to the beach. Each summer everyone looked forward to the annual beach trip with Mammaw Kaki and Papi (Larry) where they’d build huge sand castles, walk endless miles on the beach finding shells and drinking coffee, and watch Mammaw take gorgeous sunrise and sunset photos. Because of her background in biology, the grandkids always asked, “Mammaw, what is this shell?” and just knew she’d have an answer. Kathy’s desire was to be cremated and have her ashes spread over the ocean.
Before Kathy’s retirement, she enjoyed her career as a biology teacher at Sullivan East High School and loved to share her vast knowledge with everyone who wanted to know anything about biology. During her career, she was fortunate to have the opportunity to scuba dive in Fiji as part of an Earth Watch research project. At home, she loved to plant beautiful flower gardens. She took pride in picking flowers from her garden for a centerpiece on the dinner table. Besides gardening, she and Larry loved cats, which was probably the reason that her grandchildren grew up with a love for the movie Aristocats and still have loving memories of watching the movie with Mammaw and Papi.
During her last few months, she and Larry resided at Brookdale Senior Living Kingsport where her hands were rarely still from playing bingo to making crafts to hang on her door to ordering her favorite outfits on Amazon. Through ancestry.com, Kathy was excited to get in touch with her half brother, Alfred Bingham, and his family. They kept in touch over phone calls and text messaging. This shows her desire to keep up with technology. She learned from her grandson Austin Ramsey, Pointech CEO, to search the internet on her iPad and text her family.
Her life was a living example of her favorite Bible verse, Philippians 4:13 — “I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.” She was never one to give up on anything. She fought for what she believed in and shared her story with others. On September 18, 2018, she became a published author of The Patient No One Wanted. The book is an autobiography of her journey to find a doctor for her illness. Her desire to never give up and trust in God was evident throughout the entire journey.
Kathy is survived by her devoted and loving husband Larry Williams; daughter Melissa (Moore) Ramsey and husband Chris Ramsey; grandchildren Amber (Ramsey) Williams and husband Levi Williams and Austin Ramsey; sister Lilian McColl and husband Bruce McColl; nieces and nephews Brenna Ariza-McColl and husband Henry Ariza, Lirin (Stacey) McColl, Jamie Cox, Vesta Webb and husband Shade Webb, and Eric Bernard; great nieces and nephews Lilyana Ariza, Megan (Cox) Snapp and husband Justin Snapp, Matt Cox, and Morgan Webb; brother-in-law Gary Williams and wife Cheryl Williams; sister-in-law Doris Bernard and husband Marvin Bernard. She was especially grateful for the love and care that Brookdale Kingsport staff, Jamie Cox, and Doris Bernard showed her as her illness progressed.
Please join us in celebrating her life Sunday afternoon November 10, 2019, between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. with a service to follow at 4 p.m. at First Baptist Blountville Church, 3358 TN-126, Blountville, TN 37617. Each Christmas, Kathy and Larry donated to St. Jude in lieu of getting one another a present. To them it was a gift of giving. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude at www.stjude.com/donate or to First Baptist Blountville Church.