Requiem for a Bailiff–Jerry Williams 1949-2017

No, this is not a review about a movie, but a review about a man’s life.  A man I knew as a close friend for all too short of a time; a man who, like his family and friends, I am grieving.  A man whom I feel I owe an attempt to add to the kind words and tributes that others will bestow upon him.  A man whose passing hit me like a bolt of lightning from the sky.  Judge Jeff Kirby could write this much better than I, but this is my feeble attempt to give some solace to his wife, Karen, and the rest of the family.

I’ve known Jerry all of my professional and political life, and considered him my friend, although, in truth, we didn’t socialize.  My son and his daughter were friends in high school but other than the typical small talk between parents, our paths didn’t cross that much.  He did help in the refinance of my wife’s law office but I probably spent more time talking to fellow lawyer, Jack Oswald, than to Jerry.

Fast forward to 2015; I needed a part-time bailiff.  Jerry wanted  a little work, nothing too time consuming.  A perfect fit.  Karen had worked for data processing for Warren County for years and I teased her about being my fifth favorite IT person ever (the first four being my son and his Go-Concepts mates).  Jerry worked with me two days per week and we ate lunch together.  Lunch is a marvelous way to get to know someone.  And that is the point of this rambling post.

At a funeral, I would never be able to convey to Karen, Jennifer, Kristi, and the rest of the family just how much he loved you guys.  Nary a lunch went by that he didn’t tell some story (usually several) about his family, and Jerry was a great storyteller.  He liked his guns, he liked his fishing, he liked his sports, but he loved his wife, kids and grandkids.  If Jerry missed a lunch with me, invariably it was to attend to a not-to-be missed event at school, to help babysit, or otherwise be a good grandparent, a helpful and caring parent.

Right now, there has to be a huge hole in your hearts.  The loss of a husband, parent, and grandparent is so painful, it seems nearly unbearable at times.  Jerry’s laugh and kind words will be missed at my lunch table for a long time, in your memories much, much longer.  Rest assured that Jerry is at peace knowing he gave his all to his family, he left nothing in this rat race called life.  He couldn’t have loved you more.   And that is why your grief is so heavy.   As time goes by, slowly the realization hits that we were all so lucky that Jerry touched our lives, albeit briefly.  I remind you his “touch” is permanent, he remains with us always.

Rest in peace, Jerry Williams.  Rest in peace.

4 thoughts on “Requiem for a Bailiff–Jerry Williams 1949-2017

  1. Judge Oliver,

    That was so nice of you. I really appreciate your kind words. I will miss him so much.

    He enjoyed working for you and going to the Thursday lunches with the gang. Just wanted to let you know that.

    Thanks again,


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