Leo Williams Sr., a dedicated union man, died on July 29, 2014. Leo founded the Retiree Unit of SEIU Local 200United, and enthusiastically led the SEIU contingent at the annual Labor Day parade, held at the State Fair, decorating a tram in SEIU purple and pulling it behind a tractor. Fellow veterans, union members, friends and family saw Leo’s ashes back to his home in Pennellville, in southern Oswego County on August 4.
What follows is Leo’s obituary, published in the Syracuse Post-Standard:
Leo Williams Sr., 83, of Pennellville, NY, passed away Tuesday morning at his home surrounded by, and in the arms of, his loving family.
Born the oldest of 14 children; he was a lifelong resident of the Syracuse area. He enlisted in the Army and traveled to Germany as part of the occupational forces after World War II. It was there, while serving as a Tank Commander that he met his wife of 62 years, Liselotte “Lilo” Williams. Together, they owned and operated a Mom and Pop grocery store and a snowmobile dealership for 27 years in Euclid, NY, before retiring to the Pennellville area. Leo worked for a time as a Tractor Trailer Driver and as a
School Bus Driver and was a CDL-A certified driver trainer. He was very active and passionate in the labor struggle and served as a Teamsters Union Steward while driving tractor trailer and later as Union President for the Service Employees International Union chapter at Liverpool Central School District. One of his proudest achievements while serving as Union President was to “rally the troops” and lead the battle to stop the school district from switching to contract busing.
Leo enjoyed boating, snowmobiling, travel and spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but his greatest passion by far was dancing with his beloved wife.
Leo is survived by his wife, Lilo; his three children, Leo Jr. (Ingrid) Williams, Mindy (Glenn) Williams and Tim (Dorice) Williams; his grandchildren, Kelley Williams (Shawn DeRycke), Becki Williams (Shane Thornton), Lexie Williams, Heidi Williams and Ryan Williams; three great-grandchildren, Ashley, Brittney and Courtney Howe; his sisters, Betty (Tony) Gullen and Carol Oakes; his brother, Jim (Pauline) Williams and sister-in-law, Bernice Williams, as well as many, many nieces and nephews.