Ivan Williams, 91, of DeKalb, Illinois, died Monday, July 8, 2013, at DeKalb County Rehab & Nursing Center, DeKalb.
Born October 27, 1921, in Leland, the son of Charles and Nora (Pierce) Williams, Ivan married Mavis P. Eakle on June 5, 1945, at Waterman United Methodist Church.
A farmer, Ivan learned the skills of livestock and crop farming and how to operate and maintain machinery during the Great Depression. In his free time, he looked for ways to serve his community. He became a member of the DeKalb County Board in 1964 and was instrumental in helping to form the DeKalb County Health Department. He was an active member of the Ellwood House Association from 1967 to 1980. Ivan and his wife, Mavis, led the “One Room Milan Country School” project, to move the school building to its current site on the NIU campus, west of Glidden Road. The school is now used as a location for educational teaching experiences for students of all ages. Ivan enjoyed building motor scooters, traveling with his family in the motor home that he built in his garage, flying in his Piper Pacer plane and in his younger years, and playing in local dance bands with his friends, Mel Elliott and Dee Palmer. Ivan assisted his father-in-law, Paul Eakle, in building a replica of a battleship. Ivan became one of the drivers of the battleship float from 1946-1959, traveling to parades and American Legion conventions from coast to coast.
He is survived by his son, Tracy (Lisa) Williams of DeKalb; daughters, Cary (Roger) Nelsen of Clare, Ivy (Paul) Heazeltine of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Emily (James) Farley of Downers Grove; nine grandchildren, Jennifer Heazeltine, Ashley Philips, Melanie Heazeltine, Wesley Nelsen, Ava Farley, Leif Williams, Esther Farley, Cooper Williams and Glen Williams; great-grandchildren, Lydia Lovejoy, Charley Philips and Avery Nelsen; and several nieces and nephews, great-nieces and -nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Mavis, on May 30, 2008; his parents, Charles and Nora Williams; brothers, Oran Williams and Glendon Williams; and sister, Velma Williams Knudtson.
The funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, July 18, at Anderson Funeral Home, DeKalb, with the Rev. Joe Gastiger of First Congregational Church, DeKalb, officiating. Burial will follow at Fairview Park Cemetery, DeKalb.
Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 17, at Anderson Funeral Home, DeKalb.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Ivan Williams Memorial Fund, sent in care of Anderson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 605, 2011 South Fourth Street, DeKalb, IL 60115.
For information, visit www.AndersonFuneralHomeLtd.com or call 815-756-1022.