Frank Alan Williams (Language Arts Teacher at Kinawa School in Okemos), 88, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and longtime resident of East Lansing, died on May 23, 2022. Retired from Okemos Public Schools where he taught language arts at Kinawa Middle School, announced Okemos High School football games, and directed musicals at both Kinawa and OHS, Frank was an avid MSU sports fan, a great chef who freely shared his recipes, and an enthusiast of Harry Potter and all the magic.
Surviving are his wife of 48 years, Bethany; his children, Eric, Jeffrey, Katie, and Stephanie; his grandchildren, Cabal and George; his brothers, John and Paul; several nieces and nephews; and his dog, Charley. He was preceded in death by his parents, Edna and Howard; his brothers, Tom and Jim; and his dog, Romeo. Frank’s wry wit and joyous zeal will live on in those who loved him.
The family would like to extend their thanks to the care workers at The Willows of East Lansing and Careline Hospice.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.greastlansing.com for the Williams family.
Thank you to Kathy Sheufelt class of 1979, and teacher at Kinawa and Chippewa for notification.
Laurel Winkel (1968)
(Comments from the OAA Facebook group)
Courtney Stevens Kerry
Celebrating all the contributions Mr. Williams made to my middle school years. SO many memories, SO many shows, SO many quotes: "Go sit down and contemplate your navels." He drove us hard, but also showed us he way and we're all better for it.
Tammy B MoellerAuthor
Mr. Williams directed several shows I was cast in: Oklahoma (at Kinawa), Carousel and The Sound of Music (at OHS). I never took a class of his, but I got some good lessons from him.
Stacy Sheldon Guthrie
Animal Farm comes to mind as well as many quotes. Thank you for opening a young mind.
could listen to him on the PA at football games from Tacoma Hills
Patricia Blend Marmon
Even after all of these years I can recall his sense of humor and it makes me smile.
Does anyone know how he received the nickname Turkey?
Jeffrey Gardiner he called everyone Turkey
Mark Burgett That answers the question I had to ask. I never had him in any classes but I always thought his nick name was Turkey?
Susan Kearney Seeberg
Rest In Peace, Mr. Williams. Loved your class in 7th grade(and I still have my LA award;).
He was a great teacher and director.
Victoria Stephon Walker
So very sorry to see this.
Still have great memories of a drama class (Twelve Angry People), and Miracle Worker. He woke the scenery-chewer in me! RIP.
Martha Daniels I agree about the Miracle Worker I taped it long ago just watched it again this winter
What a character! He served the Okemos Education Association as a negotiator. I remember him fondly as both a teacher & colleague!
Thanks for the memories Mr. Williams! You taught me some valuable life lessons at Kinawa and nurtured my love for drama and singing. You will be remembered fondly.
I’ll never forget when he told my parents I’d be a better student if I “stopped kissing boys in the hallway and started studying”. 🤦🏻♀️
Amber Horton lort.
Amber Horton Did you become a better student? Or....?😜
Mike Barnett nope 😃
Amber Horton Good answer🥰
Amber Horton Do you know what mashing means because I didn't find out untill she showed me. I could have got away but I chose not to🤪🤪!
He taught me how to diagram sentences iirc
Nancy Leilani Moreno Frisch
I remember Mr. Williams. I wrote a book report on, "The Black Plague", and he commended me for such a report.
Nancy Leilani Moreno Frisch
Or Maybe Mr. Williams was the Language Arts teacher that I had and I did a up front in class how to make Rice Krispy Treats. And I gave everyone in class pre-made Rice Krispy Treats!!!
Loved listening to him read books to us in class, he had some great character voices.
Christopher Haines sat behind you in his 8th grade english class
Kristy Layman Doyle
What a great teacher. I can still picture him in the corner classroom if the 7th grade wing if I’m not mistaking??
Kristy Layman Doyle that’s right
Laurie Netzloff Adams
Eric Williams so sorry for your loss, Eric.
Charlene Largent Bailey
Mr. Williams was an awesome teacher! He caught my attention very quickly when I was talking during his class. I was in the back row, and all of a sudden I saw the eraser come whizzing by my head and it hit the board behind me. Got my attention very qui… See more
Charlene Largent Bailey I remember that. I was also a recipient of the no look eraser as well. RIP Mr. Williams.
Esther Spaeth Kelly
Charlene Largent Bailey I’d forgotten about him doing that.
He was a great man and turned me on to many great classics that are probably banned now. Prayers and hugs to his family. Grateful!🙏🏻💫
RIP Mr. Williams! He was a wonderful Drama teacher. I remember when he married Mrs. Lauzen, who was my 3rd grade teacher at Edgewood! Hard to believe that was 49 years ago, according to his obituary.
Wasn’t it Mr. Wuble-iams 😉
Denise Eileen Wiedbrauk Slabaugh
Baseball bat Frank…fondly and a bit intimidated memories. RIP Mr Williams.
Chris Link Hammond
Salute in deepest Regards. RIP Sir
I liked how he used to call kids "squids" (at least he did that in the early 1980s). He had command of his classroom.
Spike Fuehr he had so many funny sayings. Opossum snout, badger breath, pond scum…he kept it serious, but with a sense a humor. I think I only had one class with him but really enjoyed it.
Spike Fuehr by the late 80s, he called us all dolts.
Theresa Figg- Riebow
Loved having you as my teacher at Kinawa!!! Rest in prace, dear teacher!!
Sad day, Mr Williams was awesome teacher and i had him in my 7th grade yr at Kinawa. Him and Mr Hall help get me help and testing (learning disability). My prayers to his family. again an awesome teacher !!! RIP 🙁
I have some great memories of Williams-DeWald productions.
Esther Spaeth Kelly
Mr Williams was one of my favorite teachers! He was witty (sometimes scarily so), and when he read aloud to us, it was like being transported into the book/poem/story. My favorite school experiences had the soundtrack of his voice, from Oklahoma/King… See more
Esther Spaeth Kelly my dad would absolutely love this comment. He would dress up as Albus Dumbledore on Halloween. He loved Harry Potter and the magic and all the trimmings. To be thought as having magical abilities would have thrilled him to no end. T… See more
So sad to hear this. Sending love and care to his family. I recently reached out to Mr. Dewald and now I wish I had also thought to reach out to Mr. Williams too.
They cast me (an Asian girl - Cathy Chang) as Snow White at Kinawa way back in 1986… See more
Catherine Manning you were the best Snow White ever. The colorblind casting worked not just for you —- but for all of us. We never thought it odd that Snow White was Asian.
Loved Turkey Williams! He taught me a great deal and was a teacher who made learning fun. A great basketball announcer too!
Laurel Winkel (1968)
(Additional comments from the OAA Facebook group)
I’d like to thank all of you who knew and remembered my dad. He obviously touched many lives. Your comments made me very proud. Thank you.
I'm sorry to hear about your dad, Eric. He was a passionate and dedicated teacher who pushed us all to higher standards. Sending love to you and your family.
Julia Mattern Thanks Julia.
Your Dad was a phenomenal person who unlocked a lot of minds through books. He cared about us and so very grateful for his gift! Thank you to your family for sharing him with us! Grateful!
Cindy A. Travis
I am so sorry for your loss. He was a great teacher and will be remembered fondly.
Eric - he was a fantastic educator! He touched many lives in the classroom and on the stage!! If my memory serves me right, I think he scouted for my varsity basketball coach, Bob Walborn, when our girls’ team made it to the State finals!
Kathy Sheufelt I remember how excited he was for that run.
Kathy Sheufelt You're right about that, Kathy. Frank and Bob Walborn were good friends. We hadn't heard from Bob after he moved to Colorado.
6th grade for Math. A great man for sure. Thanks Eric.
Ron Wheeler I don’t think he ever taught math. 😝
I never knew this
Jill Hargrave Richardson
Ron Wheeler I also had Mr. Williams for English and math. 1964. He was lots of fun.
Jill Hargrave Richardson he was 30 yrs then
I always looked forward to going to his class - and the thing I remember most is diagramming sentences - so that says a lot if he can make a middle schooler look forward to that! ☺️
Eric, I’m so very sorry to hear about your Dad, and sending my deepest condolences for your loss.
Madison Hall thanks Madison
Dianna Campbell Erickson
I will forever remember him singing Day-o down the hallways. He was a great guy. Please let your family know we are all thinking of you.
Allison S. Cartwright
So sorry for your loss. Your dad was an awesome teacher.
I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. I knew I wanted to be Language Arts teacher after having his class in seventh grade. That was the year that I learned to appreciate reading and creative writing. I loved his humorous but caring teaching style. He was one of my most favorite teachers ever, not to mention a wonderful theater coach! Condolences to you and your entire family!!!
Laurie Patten-Mooney thanks Laurie. I knew he appreciated your dance talent. He talked about it at home. Of all the casting decisions he made for the King and I, he was really excited to see what you would do in that dream sequence. And he was ecstatic about the results. You were a favorite of his, not that teachers are supposed to have favorites. But, you definitely were
Eric Williams 😭 Thanks, Eric!
Eric Williams I'm very sorry for your loss.
People loved your Dad far and wide, any of us should be as fortunate.
Arthur Battaglia aww. Thanks
I didn’t know he was your dad! …I never had him as a teacher but was always friendly and nice to me when we would speak… I liked him! …good memories!
Craig Sturk he was. Thanks
I’m so sorry for your loss, Eric. I have so many memories of his class in the 7th grade - my first year in Okemos. He was a great teacher who had a significant positive impact on my life.
I did not know that he was your dad. My deepest condolences.
Mark Jay well. Yes. Thanks for your thoughts. I thought I told you when we talked about the musicals at OHS. Anyway. Thanks so much.
Thank you for sharing this!
your dad had a impact on my life. im glad i had him for a teacher
Pam Peninger Studebaker
So sorry for your loss.
Christy Tarr McVey
Such fond memories of the shows he directed!! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers!
Robin Olson (Drake) (1969)
So very sorry to see that one of my very favorite teachers is now in heaven. My husband Bill and I met in Mr. Williams class about sixty years ago!! We both have many of great memories of him and the things he taught us. He was patient, kind and fair and really made a difference in the lives of his students. Prayers for peace for his family.... he will be greatly missed!