Cover photo for Michael Williams, Sr.'s Obituary
1968 Michael 2022

Michael Williams, Sr.

July 14, 1968 — December 16, 2022

Niles, Michigan

Michael Ray “Big Daddy” Williams, Sr., age 54 years formerly of Niles, Michigan, father, grandfather son, brother, handyman, and grillmaster,  died unexpectedly on Friday, December 16, 2022 at his home in South Bend, Indiana of natural causes.

He was born on July 14, 1968 in Niles to David H. and Glenda J. (Oles) Williams, Sr. and was graduated from Niles High School.  He was employed for many years at the Michigan City (Indiana) Paper Box Company setting-up and maintaining the machinery that cut, folded, and wrapped the elegant and sophisticated presentation and gift boxes used by jewelers, confectioners, and table game companies.  He was also a working partner in the local handyman service “Honey-Do List”.

Michael was not only a “Jack of all trades” but he also mastered many of those trades including both mechanical repairs and home repair.  He had a well-earned reputation for his cooking skills, especially fine cuts of meat, marinated and placed in the smoker, with the patience to leave it closed, knowing just when to adjust a damper, and sensing exactly when the brisket was done and ready to remove.

He enjoyed fishing, often on the Saint Joseph River at the French Paper Company dam, and built a fresh-water aquarium to display some native species of fish.  And he also enjoyed - quite the opposite of the peace and solitude of fishing – attending live concerts of the heavy metal band Metallica.  Above all, he loved his family, especially his grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his father, David Harry Williams, Sr. and by a brother, Franklin E. “Gene” Williams.

Surviving family includes his children, Michael Ray (& Deanna) Williams, Jr. of Texas, Ashley Williams of Anderson, Indiana, and Blake, Sequoia, and Deven; eight grandchildren; Michael’s mother, Glenda J. Oles of Mishawaka, Indiana; and Michael’s siblings, David Williams, Jr., Robert Lee Williams, and Douglas Merrill, all of South Bend, and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

The family of Michael Williams gathered at his death to honor him and share memories, and they will continue to do so in future gatherings.  Contributions in memory of Michael may be made to (an organization to enhance fishing in the area).  Arrangements were completed at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles.  Online condolences may be left at:

Michael left us too early, but used his years as a handyman to help his employer, had entrepreneurial skills to open and operate a business, cooking skills to feed and entertain family and friends; clearly living a big life worthy of the name “Big Daddy”.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael Williams, Sr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

The family is gathering privately to share memories and honor the life.

Halbritter Wickens Funeral Services

Federal Forest Highway 13, Wetmore, MI 49895

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