Rector Community Museum Names New Director

Thursday, August 15, 2013
Johnny Williams

Johnny Williams has been selected as the new director of the Rector Community Museum. Williams was chosen for the position by members of the museum board during a meeting held last week.

While this is his first position with the museum, Williams in no stranger to the collection of community memorabilia and keepsakes, having previously made several donations to the museum and the Rector Public Library, including his drum major uniform worn as part of the Rector Blackcat Marching Band.

"To me, it's (the museum) the history and genealogy of the Rector community," Williams said. "It's important we keep the items that have been used in the community and are mementos of the past and present. In many cases, if we lose these things, we can't get them back."

While space is limited in the museum, which is adjoined to the library, Williams hopes to add other memorable items in the near future.

"As the director, I'd like to make sure we get quality items that are museum quality. I would like to look at and okay the items that come in."

Williams says the museum has been a group effort, made successful by those who have been involved.

"I appreciate the great staff we have," Williams said. "We have outstanding volunteers who make all this possible through their dedication."

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Wednesday and Friday. Special visits may be arranged by appointment by contacting 595-4033.

After graduating from RHS in 1958, Williams moved to Memphis where he worked as a men's clerk for Lowenstein's Department Store. From there, he went to Los Angeles, joining the Occidental Life Insurance Company. He worked in computer operations in what was known as "the IBM department." While in Los Angeles, he attended the LA Metropolitan College of Business, as well as the Belmont Evening Adult School.

Williams returned to Memphis in 1962. He joined Union Planters bank in its computer operations department. He would also work with computers at Croft Metals and Levi Strauss.

Williams attended seminary in New Orleans, earning a degree in pastoral ministry. He would go on to pastor several churches in southern Mississippi.

After retiring from Levi Strauss, Williams and his wife, Katie, moved to Hardy. They owned and operated the Palmer House Gift Shop and the Oakwood Place Bed and Breakfast. He also served as a funeral director for eight years.

He and Katie returned to Rector in 2007, having been active within the community ever since.

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