Thomas Williams, age 63, of Marshall, Minnesota, passed peacefully at his home on Saturday, February 17, 2024. Visitation will be held from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Thursday, February 22, 2024, at the Hamilton Funeral Home in Marshall. Visitation will also continue one hour prior to his celebration, from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. on Friday, at the church. Memorial Services are at 11:00 a.m. Friday, February 23, 2024, at St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Marshall. A reception for attendees will follow immediately in the church fellowship hall.  Arrangements are with the Hamilton Funeral Home in Marshall.

Thomas James Williams was born on February 15, 1961, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Thomas and Christine (Simpson) Williams. When he was young, Thomas and his family moved to Ft Myers, Florida. He attended Cypress Lake School where he then graduated in 1979. Thomas then worked and helped his mom for a few years before Don Varpness recruited him to play football at Minnesota West in Worthington, Minnesota. He then transferred to Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall where he played on the offensive line. He received three BA degrees at SMSU and his MS degree at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota.  After briefly training in the National Guard, Thomas began his work with various minority groups and had a passion for connecting kids with higher educational opportunities. On April 11, 1992, Thomas was united in marriage to Barbara Lien at St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Marshall. The couple made their home in Marshall for the past 32 years and were blessed with three amazing children – Josh, Haley, and Cam.  Thomas continued to focus on minority recruitment for several colleges. He also assisted with social service needs for the tribes around Flandreau, Morton, and Granite Falls. Thomas had a strong faith and was very involved with the Boys and Girls Club in Flandreau, South Dakota. He had a drive to help youth that he carried throughout his career with a sense of understanding and forgiveness for everyone he helped over the years. His other enjoyments in life included watching the Dallas Cowboys, camping trips, BBQs, and caring for his many pets. Thomas always put his family first and was very proud of his children, supporting them in all of their activities.

He is survived by his is wife, Barb Williams of Marshall; children, Josh Williams of Minneapolis, MN, Haley (Steven) Reiter of Brandon, SD, Camron Williams of Yuma, AZ; siblings, Diane Robinson-Mann of Valdosta, GA, David Williams of Ft. Myers, FL; several brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many many friends.  Thomas is preceded in death by his parents; father and mother-in-law, Harry and Colleen Lien; sister, Elizabeth Nash; and brother, Tim Simpson. He will be missed by many and blessed be his memory.