Memorial Service for Kenneth Brian Williams

Memorial Service for Kenneth Brian Williams

Born: December 26, 1934 - Jamestown, New York
Died: February 8, 1998 - Dunkirk, New York
Services at: Jordan Funeral Home - Sinclairville, New York
Date of Service: Saturday, February 14, 1998 at 11:00am
Officiating: Randolph S. Williams
Final Resting Place: Evergreen Cemetery, Sinclairville, New York

Music: Precious Memories

The Legacy, Life, and Beliefs of Kenneth B. Williams

His Legacy

It has been suggested by some that Dad's biggest legacy is his children and grandchildren. He leaves behind four children and nine grandchildren. In Psalm 127:3-5 we read:

His Life

His Beliefs


Will you pray with me?

Oh God,

In Proverbs 10, we learn that a wise son makes a father proud. And in Exodus 20:12 you tell us to honor your father. We pray that today we honor and make glad my father. Amen.

Music: In the Garden

Death and the Eternal Hope We Have Beyond the Cemetery

Dad's grandfather once told him "not to put all his eggs in one basket". As Dad would do, he reflected on what that meant. To him it had many meanings: That was Dad: always analyzing things.

The physical death of any loved one should have a way of sobering us to the realities of this life. Perhaps some of us are here in shock and grief, brokenhearted, speechless, and helpless. We are tempted to cry out in the silence of the cemetery to anyone willing to listen, "Hey, I didn't ask to be born, and I didn't ask to die. What is going on, anyway?"

Today, I hope together we can look at some answers.


Holy God, I pray that my words today would find favor with you, Lord. Give me wisdom to articulate your thoughts and plans and to show the Hope I have in you. I pray that we will have ears to hear you, Lord. Amen.

No One is Worthy

Dad recognized that even members of the Christian community were sinful. To Dad it was hypocrisy. Paul explains this in the first couple of chapters in the book of Romans. Paul indicts the self-identified rebel. This is the person who will not submit to God or anyone. Their motto is "I am lord of my universe". Then Paul indicts the moral person. This person is repulsed by the rebel and finds fault in everyone but himself. Then Paul identifies the next group as the people who are well instructed in the things of God. They are willing to apply the truth rigorously to others.

It has been suggested that people judge others on their actions and themselves on their intent. Perhaps this explains the moral person and the religious person.

There are three points to look at here:
  1. If you were to observe anyone's life and if all of its hidden areas were made visible, you would discover that there is no one who is righteous.
  2. There is no one who is willing or able to see the purposes of God, or to understand the mysteries of humanity; no one is wise.
  3. There is not even anyone who seeks for God. Despite all the effort spent on religious quests, deep down nobody wants to find God because of the painful self-discovery that will result.

It is very hard to hear this and agree with it totally without wanting to raise an objection: "Wait a minute, no, that can't possibly be. Don't say no one. I mean some people do good things once in awhile. I do good things on numerous occasions." We immediately desire to bring up our good works and efforts: "I seek God, I care about him, I read the Bible, and I'm brokenhearted when people get hurt. I volunteer at schools and Habitat for Humanity. I know I do things that aren't right but I have a good side too." Or, we say, "Yes, I am an absolutely miserable wretch, but it's not my fault. A lot of people treat me badly and that's why I am the way I am." We may compare ourselves favorably with others as if God grades us on a curve. The truth is that He does not.

The purpose of these indictments is stop us from rationalizing and making excuses for ourselves.

I will come back to this faith point in a few minutes.

Wages of Sin and Our Fear of Death

Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:10 that, Obviously Paul does not mean that Jesus Christ eliminated death, If that were true, we would not all be here right now. But Paul did mean something by "he abolished death". It is probably explained best in a passage in Hebrews 2:15. The cause of our fear of death is the uncertainty of what is to follow. We know not what, or where. And it is this unknown factor that makes us fearful. In Romans 6:23 we read In other translations that would be: Our fear of death produces life-long bondage that it is demonstrated in our lives. We feel that we must make time count. We are aware of the passing time and are afraid that we will waste our opportunities, that we will lose out on the possibilities which are before us. Therefore we must grasp every moment to fulfill it. We dare not stop, dare not rest, but are constantly driven, driven, driven, because we know the shortness of our time.

Then, fear of death makes us worry. Death threatens us on every side. It is what makes us install safety devices in our homes and cars. It creates concern over what we eat. It is what makes us check out our pains and aches with our doctor. It sends us to get frequent checkups. Also, this fear haunts us. Suddenly it impedes on our thoughts when we least expect it. It frightens us in our dreams, and makes us restless. We are afraid to be alone. We don't like silence, but must have a radio or television drumming away in our ears. We constantly demand something to occupy our attention. All this is testimony to an unspoken and unacknowledged fear of death.

Jesus took our sins upon Himself and He is Risen

And death is defined as being separated from God. Come judgement, our eternity is going to be either with God or in absence of God.

God solved our problem of fear of judgment by forgiveness of sin in the cross of Christ. He laid our sins upon him. I don't know how it happened. I don't fully understand it and I don't know anyone who does fully understands it. It is one of those great mysteries which God declares and which the mind of man cannot fathom or follow. But God has done it, and in Christ men are forgiven.

The good news for all who are willing to listen is this:

It is through these two acts of love that Jesus has now become the only one who can forgive us of our sins, eliminate our fear of death, and give us the gift of eternal life.

Listen to these words from the apostle Paul:

As we come to pay respect to my earthly father and face death on earth, we can find joy and comfort in knowing what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:55-56 when talking about our "new bodies":

Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 1:3,

Because Jesus has been raised from the dead, all who place their faith in him as Lord and Savior shall also be raised from the dead. That is our living hope.

Jesus Intercedes on the Behave of Those Who Call Him Lord

How does Christ death and resurrection justifies us to spend eternity with God? The best I can describe it is to think of Jesus as our attorney at the time of judgement. Jesus will not begged for the Father to show grace and mercy to us because He likes us. Jesus will not argue that we are victims of circumstances as the attorneys nowadays like to use. Jesus will point to the cross and say I paid for his sins in full, there is no judgement against this man. But Jesus only will intercede on behave of those who truly possess faith.

Faith not Works

In James 2:14 we read: How many people here believe that I have faith in this chair holding me? If I proclaim to everyone that I do indeed have faith that chair will hold me, how may believe that I have that faith?

[Randy sits in the chair]

Now that I acted out in my faith and sat in the chair, hopefully everyone believes that I do indeed have faith in this chair. But you cannot know for sure until you see me demonstrated my faith by acting out on that faith.

James is pointing out that faith without any good works is worthless in bearing witness to your faith among your fellow man. How is one to know that you really do have faith unless they can see you act upon that faith?

Paul throughout the book of Romans makes if very clear that faith and faith only is the saving grace for man before God. It is God's grace and mercy that anyone is saved. There should be no pride in the saved for they did nothing to accomplish it.


In conclusion, I would like to read to you a letter written by a young solider during World War 2. He was captured and imprisoned by the Nazis and was sentenced to be executed. Writing from his prison in Hamburg on the day of his execution, this is what he said to his parents:

I think Dad understood this. He knew he did not have a lot of time here on earth and he was found in a peaceful position at his death.


Dear God,

We lift up the soul of Kenneth B. Williams. We draw courage and strength knowing that you will "wipe away every tear". Our prayer is that one day we shall all see each other again in Heaven. Lord, I pray that you heal our sorrow, help us to remember the best of Ken, to forget what could have been. We give you Lord - Kenneth B. Williams, my father.


Music: Amazing Grace (1st and last verses)

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

This eulogy was based on the works of others: