Ira Neal Williams



LANCASTER, SC ~Mr. Ira Neal Williams, age 100, passed away Thursday, July 19, 2018. He was born July 15, 1918 in Heath Springs, SC, a son of the late Claude Jackson Williams and Theo Neal Williams and was the husband of the late Oveta Dowdle Williams. Mr. Williams retired as a Chief Warrant Officer in 1963 from the United States Army after serving more than 23 years. He saw action in WWII and the Korean conflict. His division landed on Omaha Beach in France on June 9, 1944. He described the date as D-Day +3, the 3rd day after D-Day. He served as a warrant officer in charge of 50 soldiers and was the first combat soldier from Lancaster County to cross the Siegfried Line and set foot on German soil. Mr. Williams was assigned to the 189th Regimental Combat Team and graduated from jump school and earned his parachutist wings. He led a jump of paratroopers in the Korean conflict and sustained major injuries. Mr. William was placed in a body brace and in a Japanese hospital for 6 months before he was moved back to the United States. He loved his family, his church, talking with people, and hunting. Mr. Williams was a member of Pleasant Dale Baptist Church.

Mr. Williams is survived by two sons, Clyde P. “Phil” Williams (Sylvia) and Jock T. Williams (Gail), all of Lancaster; two daughters, Myra Williams Smith of Cassett, SC and Jenna Lisa Williams (Dee Yoakum) of Memphis, TN.; seven grandchildren; sixteen great grandchildren; and two great great-grandchildren.

Mr. Williams was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; two brothers, John S. Williams and Ward Williams; a sister, Mattie Bell Holland and a son in law, Jim Smith.

The Celebration of Life Funeral Service for Mr. Williams will be 2:00 pm Sunday, July 22, 2018 at Pleasant Dale Baptist Church by Dr. Jessie Adams. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

The Family will receive friends from 6:00 – 8:00 pm Saturday evening, July 21, 2018 at Burgess Funeral Home and suggest memorial contributions be made to Pleasant Dale Baptist Church, Maw Dowdle Fund, 133 S. Potter Road, Lancaster, SC 29720 or the Disabled American Veterans, 6437 Garners Ferry Road, Columbia, SC 29209 or online at