Williams fondly recalled

Carol Williams is being remembered for her love of life and her dedication to the community.

A former Coldstream councillor and avid volunteer, the 79-year-old Williams died Saturday after a long battle with illness.

“She always brought the best out in people. She inspired me in a lot of ways,” said friend Glen Taylor.

Born in Saskatchewan Sept. 23, 1931, Williams moved to B.C. to pursue her education and she graduated with a degree in public health. She married husband Verne in 1958 and they moved across the province, before settling down in Greater Vernon 33 years ago.

Among her volunteer activities were the People In Need Crisis Line, the B.C. Summer Games, the Friends of the Library and the Community Foundation.

But she is perhaps best known for her involvement with Vernon Winter Carnival. She first began with the Queen’s Committee and then became a Carnival volunteer, office manager and chairperson.

“She was the backbone of Balloon Fiesta and the snow sculpture competition. The first snow sculpture people stayed right at her house,” said June Rigby, with Winter Carnival.

One of Williams’ roles was to generate interest among the media about  the festival.

“She spoke for Carnival so well. She really got people inspired,” said Rigby.

In 1999, Williams was elected as a Coldstream councillor and she held the position until 2008.

“She always looked forward,” said Taylor, a former councillor, of Williams’ commitment to the community.

Williams often represented Coldstream at official functions.

“When she was in a room, she promoted elegance in the way she conducted herself,” said Taylor.

Williams’ was recognized during Monday’s council meeting.

“We are thankful for her contributions to council over the years,” said Mayor Jim Garlick.

Williams was Coldstream’s representative to Okanagan Regional Library and served as the agency’s chairperson for four years.

“She was the iron hand in the velvet glove,” said Lesley Dieno, ORL executive director.

“She ran good meetings and made sure the board was making collective decisions.”

Wanting to know what went on behind the scenes, Williams toured all 29 ORL branches twice.

“She is the only chairperson to ever do that. She had really good chats with the staff and brought back their ideas,” said Dieno.

“She really believed in what public libraries could do.”

Williams is survived by her husband Verne, daughters Joy and Shelley, son Bill, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life service will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at Trinity United Church.