Reverend Dr. John Daniel “Dr. Dan” Williamson, 75, of Sylvester, Ga., passed away on December 21, 2017, surrounded by loved ones.
Services were held Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017, at Pinson Memorial United Methodist Church in Sylvester.
Dr. Dan was born in West Point, Georgia, to Daniel Alan (Mr. Pete) and Ethel (Anderson) Williamson on October 15, 1942. He was called to preach in high school where he preached in the Baptist churches around West Point as he sought to follow God's call. He met his first wife in college, married, adopted her two children, and began working toward his goal of serving God. They had two children together. When his children were very young, Dan met a United Methodist pastor who led him into the seminary at Emory University and into The United Methodist Church pastorate. He earned a Masters in Theology and a Masters in Education. He served churches in and around Carroll and Haralson Counties in the North Georgia conference, as well as working with the management team at a manufacturing plant and teaching school.
After his first wife died, he met and married Brinda. The bishop sent them to the South Georgia Conference. In the late 1980s he earned a PhD in Theology from Drew University. From 1985 until his death he served in the South Georgia conference at many churches, including Lumber City, Mt. Vernon, Ailey, Blackshear, Folkston, Pinson Memorial, and Adel. He retired in 2008 and served at Doerun-Funston, Chula-Harding, and finally Pine Level United Methodist Church in Fitzgerald. He always said God had not called him to his final appointment yet.
Dr. Dan cherished life and, after suffering kidney failure in 1996, was blessed with a transplant in 2001. He prayed every day for the family who gave him the gift of life after 2001. Dr. Dan grew up on the banks of the Chattahoochee River and loved the outdoors. He and Brinda traveled on motorcycle trips extensively. He was involved in the Christian Motorcycle Association for many years and helped lead people to Christ through his example. He was also involved in the Kiwanis club and the NRA. He loved camping, hunting and fishing. He loved sharing these activities with his wife and family and during his last days was talking about going on an unplanned adventure trip with his family. Dr. Dan was a gentle, loving man who exemplified his beliefs, often giving away his last dollar to someone with a sad story. He leaves a big hole in our hearts that will never be filled but we have joy knowing he is well again.
Dr. Dan is survived by his wife, Brinda Ball Williamson; his children, Benjamin Alan (Susan) Williamson, Todd Dempsey, Tammi (Scott) Vassey, Debbi (Angel) Cabrera, and an adopted son, Daniel (Heather) Perry; his brother, Charlie (Elizabeth) Williamson; 10 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family members.
In addition to his parents, Dr. Dan was preceded in death by a son, John Mark Williamson; his first wife, Jeanette Highsmith Williamson; an adopted daughter, Suzanne Perry; and a sister, Annette Williamson Gray.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his memory to Pinson Memorial UMC Bus Fund, PO Box 118, Sylvester, GA 31791 or Pine Level United Methodist Church, Pine Level Church Road, Fitzgerald, Georgia 31750.