Williams volunteers time at animal shelter

By DAISY WASHINGTON / Community Columnist

Barbara Williams’s volunteer involvement in the community has extended over decades.

Her work with The Family Place (TFP) was largely uncompensated due to lack of funding. Her dedication and perseverance motivated her to commit herself to the program’s work and service.

TFP developed children’s program, worked with economically disadvantaged families, built a library and community center in the Sayrae community, provided Christmas and Thanksgiving meals, and hosted field trips.

Williams taught parenting classes to families in the court system for the Shelby County Family Resource Center. She volunteered there from 2006-2012.

She serves as treasurer for the Shelby County Master Gardener Association.

Master Gardeners are trained volunteer educators under the direction of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

Master Gardeners are involved with a gardening program for cancer survivors called Harvest for Health.

Led by the University of Alabama Birmingham’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and Alabama Extension’s Homes Grounds Team, Harvest for Health uses a backyard garden to teach new, healthy habits to survivors.

Williams is a certified adoption counselor with the Shelby County Humane Society, as well as an administrative support volunteer who helps in the office by entering data.

She is a talented quilter and teaches quilting classes to 4-H Club members.

In 2017, Williams was inducted into Positive Maturity’s 50 Over 50 program. Introduced in 2014, the program recognizes individuals 50 and older for their success and lifetime achievements in business, personal life and civic engagement.

The oldest of four children, Williams was born and raised in Birmingham.

As the only girl, she said, “I was such a tomboy. I didn’t know what girls do.”

A 1964 University of Alabama graduate, she holds bachelors’ degrees in microbiology and counseling.

Williams’ 30-year career in medical research began at Southern Research Institute.

She was employed at UA as a research associate, primarily in the area of cancer research. She enjoyed a unique experience of working with a team of scientists and engineers, including astronaut Dr. Larry DeLucas.

“It was just fantastic, a totally different experience,” she said. “I met some of the most interesting people.”

She is an avid artist and enjoys watercolor and acrylic painting. She enjoys reading historical novels, murder mysteries and “still some scientific journals.”

She is an Alabama football fan and enjoys the game with her three sons. She also has four grandchildren.