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Mary L. Williams, housing advocate Sept. 1, 1928 -- Sept. 15, 2005

Mary L. Williams, who helped establish low-income housing in this city, died Thursday in Millard Fillmore Hospital, Buffalo. She was 77.

Born Mary Lee in Yazoo County, Miss., she attended Tennessee public schools and completed her education in Brocton.

At one time she worked at the Silver Creek Canning Factory, Fredonia Laundry, Cooperative Extension and the Chautauqua County Rural Ministry.

She was a member of Open Door No. 3, Church of God in Christ, where she was president of the mothers board.

Mrs. Williams had been chairman of the housing committee of the Dunkirk-Fredonia Chapter of the NAACP, of which she also was a past president and vice president.

She played a vital role in the establishment of low-income housing in Dunkirk through the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Chautauqua County Rural Ministry.

She was also a former board member of the rural ministry, Core Area Preservation Company and United Way of Chautauqua County.

Mrs. Williams enjoyed fishing, reading the Bible and cooking.

She was predeceased by her husband, Paul Sr.

Survivors include four sons, Paul Jr. of Dunkirk, Stephen Thomas and Stanley Thomas, both of Jamestown, and Rodney Thomas of Dunkirk; five daughters, Patricia Stewart and Joanne Kinsey, both of Dunkirk, Florine Rogers and Georgia Duncan, both of Kalamazoo, Mich., and Estella Joplin of Lepanto, Ark.; three brothers, Douglas M. Lee of Memphis, Tenn., Robert Redmond of Morrilton, Ark., and Tom Lee of Pensacola, Fla.; two sisters, Flora Lee of Memphis and Shirley Gallagher of Los Angeles; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday in Open Door No. 3, Church of God in Christ, 59 Lake Shore Drive. Burial will be in Glenwood Cemetery, Silver Creek.

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