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Lewis Williams, a cherished soul known for his creativity, passion, and unwavering optimism, passed away peacefully on November 25, 2023, in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. He was born to the late Eliza Caldwell Williams and the late Willie Charles Williams on July 20, 1948, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Lewis's life journey was one marked by dedication, love, and an infectious enthusiasm for his craft and community.
He attended the schools of Charlotte Mecklenburg. Lewis's career as an auto body technician and collision specialist began in New York in his late teens to early twenties where he resided for about 5 years and learned his craft. He would soon mentor his late brother, Phillip Williams, and teach him the trade. He and Phillip would eventually own their own separate successful body shops.
Lewis initially began working for dealerships such as Cadillac and Larry J Chevrolet. He would then pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur and for forty years own and operate Lewis's Auto Body, which is currently located on North Tyron Street in Charlotte NC. Lewis was an expert at auto body repair, and he felt his lifelong career was not merely a job but a calling. He possessed a vast knowledge and a keen eye for auto body work. When Lewis touched a vehicle with his hands it truly showed his wondrous skills. This innate awareness about auto body repair stood as a testament to his lifelong career. Lewis approached every project with meticulous care, transforming twisted and damaged vehicles into works of art. He garnered the utmost respect from his colleagues who acknowledged the uncommon expertise that was in his possession. Lewis also had a rare ability to mentor others in his chosen field with an unwavering amount patience, time, and thoughtfulness. His mentees always showed a deep appreciation for all that he taught and shared unselfishly with them.
Beyond his professional achievements, Lewis was a beacon of light to his family. Lewis's life was one of active engagement and tireless contribution to his community. He often volunteered his time and skills, teaching young enthusiasts the intricacies of auto body repair. His legacy in the field is not only in the cars he restored but also in the lives he touched, inspiring the next generation of technicians with his avidness and expertise. Those who knew Lewis understood that his passion extended beyond the garage. He was a man who found beauty in the details, whether it was in the sleek lines of a classic car or the laughter of his loved ones. He lived his life with an optimism that was contagious, always seeing the silver lining even in challenging times.
Lewis Williams was in every sense a creative, determined, hardworking, resolute, and a passionate soul. His optimism will continue to light the way for all who were fortunate enough to know him. As we bid farewell to Lewis, we celebrate a life lived to the fullest, a journey marked by love, learning, and an unquenchable zest for life. In honoring his memory, we acknowledge that the world was brighter with Lewis in it, and though he has left us, the impressions he made are indelible. Lewis's story does not end here, for in our hearts and in the echoes of his contributions, he lives on.
Lewis was preceded in death by his Adoring Wife, Annie Williams also known as Anewa Tiari-El; his Beloved Parents, mother, Eliza Caldwell Williams, and his father, Willie Charles Williams; and his Cherished Siblings: Pinky Lee King, Rebecca Askew and Phillip Williams.
He is survived by his Loving and Devoted Children: Daughters: Keysha Williams, Tara "Cheryl" Leeper (Atiba Leeper), and Tiffaney Collins (Patrick Collins) all of Charlotte, North Carolina; Sons: Norris Taylor of Silver Springs, Maryland and J'Juan Cherry of Petaluma, California; Sister, Betty Mae Anthony of Charlotte, North Carolina; Brothers: Willie Alexander Williams of Charlotte, North Carolina and Willie James Williams of New York; Sisters-in- law Sandra Williams, Linda McClure (June McClure), Delores Camp, Leandra Smith all of Charlotte, North Carolina; Brother-in-law Benard Barber of Charlotte, North Carolina ; Ten grandchildren and eight great grandchildren; and a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousin, and other relatives and friends.