Educator | Class of 2018
The Honorable Mary Louise Williams is a retired educator with 42 years of service in the state of Arkansas. She graduated from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a minor in social studies. She also studied at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where she received a Master of Fine Arts degree in secondary education and certification in administration. Mrs. Williams served as an administrator and a music teacher for 30 years in the Little Rock School District (LRSD). Prior to her service with LRSD, she spent the first twelve years of her career, which began in 1949, in Bearden, Magnolia, and Conway County schools. Currently, she is a political consultant, a notary public, and a privatelessons piano instructor.
Her more than 65 professional and volunteer memberships locally and nationally are vast and varied, including Pulaski County Democratic Women; Retired Teachers Association; being the 13th South Central Regional Director, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; State of Arkansas Teachers Association Choral Division; Arkansas Cemetery Board; L.C. and Daisy L. Gaston Bates Museum Foundation; 55year member of American Association of University Women, Inc.; and Little Rock Top Ladies of Distinction. Mrs. Williams has also held various elected offices, including positions with the Pulaski County Election Commission, Democratic Central Committee, and 8 terms on the Pulaski County Quorum Court. She has been a trailblazer by being the first female and/or African American to serve in various capacities, such as Little Rock Classroom Teachers co-President; National Association Board of County Officials; National
Association of County Pulaski County Election Commission Chairman, Pulaski County Democratic County Committee Chairman, Pulaski County Democratic Woman of the Year. She has received awards too numerous to name, including William J. Clinton Center Celebration Circle Award; historian and producer of the first 30-year Historical Reflections DVD of the Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Greek Legend Award, and the Philander Smith College Living Legend Award. Mrs. Williams blesses as she has been blessed. A deserving male college student majoring in education at Philander Smith College received the first Mary Louise Williams Scholarship.
Mrs. Williams was born in Plumerville, Arkansas, and she has lived in Little Rock since 1962. She was a member of Mount Zion Baptist Church where she served for 50 years. There, she sang in the sanctuary choir and directed the Women’s Day choir, served as the general Sunday school pianist, primary bible school teacher, leader of a general mission group, member of the Lockhart Bronson Mission, scholarship committee, Issues and Answers committee, and 25 years as President of the Maids and Matrons Club. In January 2012 after much prayer and consternation, she transferred her membership to St. John Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor C. Dennis Edwards, I. Since joining there, she has served as chairman of the Autumn-age Ministry and vicechairman of the Mothers’ Ministry.
Mrs. Williams is widowed, has one daughter, Sandra Gibson, three grandchildren, and six greatgrandchildren…all the loves of her life.