This is the seventh of an eight-part series profiling the 2016 Outstanding Women of Clinton County. Tickets for the luncheon event — to be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 5 at the Roberts Centre — are $25 (cash or check accepted; make check payable to “OWCC”). Reservations can be made at the Wilmington News Journal, 761 S. Nelson Ave., Wilmington, OH 45177. The News Journal’s office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. If you have any questions, please call 937-382-2574. Reservations will be accepted through March 1. Julie Isphording will be the guest speaker. Julie ran the first ever women’s Olympic Marathon in 1984; she is an award-winning syndicated radio host, national keynote speaker and magazine columnist.
For more than 34 years, Avonelle B. Williams’ warm, compassionate smile has cheered the patients, visitors, and staff of Clinton Memorial Hospital.
Whether communicating between recovery room and the families of those in surgery, helping visitors find appropriate gifts in the hospital shop, making Lifeline calls to verify that critical equipment is working, conducting patient satisfaction interviews, or (currently) greeting hospital vendors and sorting incoming materials for distribution — this veteran volunteer is someone people can always depend on for understanding and comfort.
This inductee to the Outstanding Women of Clinton County class of 2016 certainly epitomizes devotion to family, farm, church, and community. In the words of nominators Nancy Williams and Betty Rice, she “knows no other home than Clinton County. She was born in this county, raised in this county, served this county, and loved this county for all of her life.” Best of all, she “knows no stranger.”
Now residing in Adams Township, Williams was born in Cuba, Ohio and grew up in Sabina. When in high school, she began working for the Sabina Mill. After attending the Cincinnati School of Music, she worked briefly at the WLW radio station. She began her married life in Kingman, where she and her husband joined his family farming operation and raised their four children; she now has 16 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
All her life, Williams has been an active member of one or another Clinton County United Methodist Church. While a teenager at the Sabina UMC, she first brought her musical talent to the service of the church as a pianist. While living in the Kingman area, she played organ and piano at the Sharon UMC, while singing in the choir and helping with Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.
And for the past 35 years, she has faithfully served the Wilmington UMC in preparing and performing music, in greeting and ushering, and in helping manage Vacation Bible School, Red Bird Mission, Sweets and Treats Auction, and other valuable youth activities. She enjoys baking small loaves of bread to give to church visitors and every Christmas actively supports the Angel Christmas Tree project, a program dedicated to helping Clinton County’s less fortunate residents.
Williams has been a member of one of the longest-lasting Farm Bureau Councils in Clinton County, and is a 65-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star. During her thirty years of service as Presiding Judge on Election Day at the Adams Township Precinct, she has ensured the accuracy and efficiency of the voting process there.
A longtime member of the English Club, she has served as secretary, vice president, and president multiple times, and was instrumental in planning the group’s 100th anniversary in 2008, in commemoration of which she wrote a special song.
Always a strong supporter of the Clinton-Massie School District, she went door-to-door collecting signatures for its original consolidation. As her children grew up, she was always a “homeroom mom,” helping with field trips, parties, and other activities. Now she attends events for her great-grandchildren.