Niagara Gazette

Columns

September 9, 2013

HIGGS: Spotlight shines on Joey's, WIlliamson Funeral Home

Niagara Gazette — Let’s go back to our Niagara Beautification Spotlight awards during this summer and see whose hard work has paid off. Since I am working backward we will visit the Williamson Funeral Home next which received the July Spotlight Award.

Sitting in one of Niagara’s historic and stately, early buildings at 635 Main St. near the Main Post Office, Williamson’s has been the source of comfort for those who have lost a loved one for many years. Back in 1922 this was occupied by Marl C. Cobler, funeral director and professional embalmer. It was formerly The Leuppie Company. By 1940 Oscar Bell and Oscar Bell, Jr. owned and operated the Bell Funeral Home at this location and Myrtle Cobler moved across the park at the corner of Main and Pine to 640 Park Place and opened Cobler’s Funeral Home. Ownership at Bell’s included Luella Bell who was secretary — treasurer during the 1950s and later Thelma Bell took that position in 1974.

Theodore and Gertrude Williamson purchased 635 Main St. in 1976 and the Williamson Funeral Home has been there ever since serving primarily the black community. Ted as he was known was very active in the community, serving on many local boards including the NFTA. Cobler’s remained across the way until the 1980s when Richard Coleman took over and opened the R.L. Coleman Funeral Home. That building at 640 Park Place is now the home of U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins and Niagara University’s ReNU Niagara.

The Ted Williamson family included five children — Theodore, Jr., Michael, Tanya, Jean and Michelle. I found a Niagara Gazette article by Crystal Boling dated March 28, 1982, all about Theodore, Jr. and Michael — two of the city’s very eligible and so far confirmed bachelors. They lived in the spacious upstairs apartment at 635 Main and she described it as furnished in the “minimal style” as it was pretty sparse. “Just a couch in the living room”, according to Michael. Both boys are married with families now. He worked alongside his dad for many years and is now the licensed funeral director taking over the business following Ted’s death on June 24, 2010. His dad was the person really responsible for the landscaped front yard and the generally beautiful appearance of the building over the years according to Michael who was thrilled about the Spotlight and said his dad would be very proud.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Popeye's '7-Minute' guide to educating southerners -- and me! Writer Mark Twain said that when he 14, his father was so ignorant that he could hardly stand to have the old man around. But upon turning 21, Twain said that he was astonished by how much his father had learned in just seven years.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Wegmans call warns of bad fruit I was humming to myself the other day, getting ready for work on a lovely summer morning, when I decided to check my messages on the house phone. I hit the play button and heard a message from Wegmans warning me about some fruit that I had bought at their store. As quick as that, a message with the scary potential to change my life or the life of someone I love.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Ortt jumps on drive to repeal the SAFE Act It was a no-brainer for North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt, a Republican candidate for the 62nd Senate District seat, to join the forces to repeal the state's SAFE Act.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Verplank: Turn back the clock at the Porter Cup

    July 24, 2014

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Tourists attracted here by history, beauty, politics As my friend and colleague, writer Don Glynn has so artfully portrayed over the decades, "For many years after the dawn of aviation, U.S. presidents visiting Western New York started at the Niagara Falls Airport. The reason: The main runway here was longer than that of the Buffalo airport and could easily accommodate Air Force One, the presidential aircraft."

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug CONFER: A constitutional convention is not the answer For the past few years it has been popular for folks of the right persuasion (Republicans and neoconservatives) to call for a constitutional convention ("Con-Con") in hopes of passing a balanced budget amendment (BBA.) A lot of people have jumped on that bandwagon; no doubt your email inbox or Facebook news feeds have shown that.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Scheer, Mark mug CITY DESK: Hobel will be missed

    Lost in all the hoopla surrounding last week’s announced retirement of state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, was the loss of another well-known figure in local government and politics.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: More pastors, a new church and more of everything Before I go further back in time, I want to just go back to last week where I took my own advice and spent a couple of hours at the Como, where I enjoyed one of their traditional "parade of bowls and plates of great salads, pasta and meat dishes" and listened to longtime friends of Tom Darro roast him with humor, accolades and best wishes. And best of all no one who came to the microphone mentioned garbage totes or carts. It was a welcome relief.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Border Patrol chief examines deadly acts A former Buffalo police chief now has the formidable task of reviewing cases where border agents have used deadly force.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Nostalgia for nostalgia: Where will it end? Not only has there been a huge nostalgia boom in America, but we're now getting to the point where there's much nostalgia for nostalgia! Maybe signifying that nostalgia will wear itself out, or, as in the old adage, that it ain't what it used to be?

    July 20, 2014

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page