Gene Thomas Williamson, Sr., 76, of Lynchburg departed this life and entered into the glorious presence of his Lord God on Sunday, November 1, 2020, at Lynchburg General Hospital. He was the husband of his childhood sweetheart and wife of almost 50 years, the late Marlene Morrison Williamson. Born April 16, 1944, in Lynchburg, he was the son of the late Harry Alfred Williamson and the late Margaret Nash Williamson Lawrence, brother of the late Mary Walker Williamson and step-son of the late Seebert Steele Lawrence.
He was a member of Grace Baptist Church in Appomattox, former long-time member of Fairview United Methodist Church as well as a special affiliation with Gethsemane Baptist Church, both in Lynchburg. While growing up in Fairview, Gene faithfully attended Children's Sunday School and has a treasured pin he received that designates his years of perfect attendance.
Gene was a disabled veteran and proudly served our country in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War on board the USS Canopus, USS Holland and the USS Betelgeuse. As a sailor from 1963 to 1969 he worked as postal clerk and was honorably discharged with rank of PC3.
Gene was a retired grocer. He was meat manager for Wilbun’s Supermarket in Appomattox, owned Gene’s Market in Lynchburg, and also managed other supermarkets for Winn Dixie and King’s in Lynchburg and Bedford. He worked tirelessly alongside many dedicated employees and store owners.
Gene Thomas had a fun-loving and deeply caring heart; his ability to make others smile was incredible and inspirational. He was also a life-long caretaker, from his standing countless watches on naval ships to caring for family members, including his dear wife Marlene who passed on 4 years ago. He loved music and dancing, and "tripped the light fantastic" most recently with his special dance partner, Geraldine, on many a dance floor across Virginia and even in Alaska.
Gene is survived by his two children, Ann Margaret Farris and her husband Tom of Anchorage, AK and Gene Thomas “Tom” Williamson, Jr. and his wife Sabrina of Forest; two brothers, Walter Ray Williamson and his wife Glassell of Charlottesville (and their children, Christi (Randy) Lipscomb of Howardsville and Greg Williamson of North Garden) and Ronald Barry Williamson and his wife Carol of Lynchburg (and their children, Rodger (Qiang) Williamson of Kitakyushu, Japan and Carrie (Mike) Berrey of Glen Allen); also his aunt Jean Nash of Appomattox. His special friend, Geraldine Mitchell of Appomattox (and her children, Lisa and Lori) and other loving family members and friends. A special thank you to friends Lyle & Wanda, Gerald & Sandy, Samantha, Allison and Kate & Ryan for assistance these past years. The family is extremely grateful to Gene's Fairview buddy and now Gethsemane pastor, Carlton Duck, who has been a longtime friend and support for Gene and his family over the years and through many family transitions.
A memorial service will be conducted at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to an organization of your choice that supports disabled veterans (for example, The Gary Sinise Foundation, www.garysinisefoundation.org).
To send online condolences to the family and view a slideshow, please visit www.whittentimberlake.com. Whitten Timberlake Chapel is serving the family, (434) 239-0331.