Bradley J. Williams, formerly of Niles, Michigan, age 72 years old, fisherman, veteran, sworn officer, and second amendment advocate died on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, New Mexico in-spite of striving to live despite cancer.
He was born on May 29, 1947 in Niles to Peter H. and Sammie (Brawley) Williams, and was graduated from Niles High School with the class of 1965. He enlisted in the United States Air Force, earned the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, and spent a portion of his tour of duty in Hawai’i with the Office of Special Investigations. He was honorably discharged as a Sergeant and a Veteran of the Vietnam Era.
Brad continued to serve and defend his country as an officer of the United States Border Patrol in Alamogordo for thirty years. In retirement, he served as a firearms instructor at the Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico. He also supported “the right of people to keep and bear Arms” through his participation in area gun shows, and by establishing an on-line military surplus sales website which offered clothing and other accessories.
Growing-up in Niles – as a member of the Williams and Brawley families – he enjoyed the annual fishing trips to Canada. He had been a member of Troop 72 of the Boy Scouts of America where his dad was the adult volunteer Scoutmaster, and he also enjoyed music and dancing.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Pete and Sammie Williams and by many aunts and uncles.
He was previously married to the former Jane Mendenhall, with whom he adopted a foster-son, John Williams, who survives. Also surviving is Brad’s brother, Warren (& Shirley) Williams of Niles and their children, Colette (& Frank) Martilotti and their son, Joey Martilotti, and Shannon (& Deb) Williams, and their sons Zachary Peter Williams and Bryce David Williams; many Williams and Brawley cousins; and by a good friend and business partner in Alamogordo, Doug McCarty.
As a tribute to Brad’s service to his country, the Patriot Guard Riders commissioned a Pony Express Honor Mission to provide escorted overland transport of the cremated remains and Veteran’s Flag of Bradley J. Williams. That mission departed from Alamogordo on November 12, and arrived in Niles as scheduled on November 15.
The family of Brad Williams will receive relatives and friends on Sunday, November 24, 2019 from Noon until 2:00 p.m. at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles, and will conclude with the Veteran’s Flag Presentation and “Taps” by the United States Air Force Honor Guard. Committal will be private, at a later date, at Mission Hills.
Contributions in memory of Brad may be made to the Niles Riverfront Veteran’s Memorial; c/o 333 North Second Street, Niles, Michigan, 49120; http://www.nilesmi.org/ . Online condolences may be left at:
Brad was a man of oaths. As a scout, an airman, and a federal agent he publicly vowed to maintain his personal integrity in order to serve and protect his neighbors and his country. With the support and encouragement of a close brotherhood who share that same duty, Brad has faithfully fulfilled his mission.