David Ball
For The Record

A prominent and active citizen of Orange has passed away this week.

Mabel Elizabeth Quillin Williams, 82, died at home Monday after a lengthy illness. Her daughters and her husband were at her side, according to her obituary.

Longtime friend Betty Harmon said Williams was one of the most intelligent women one would ever meet.

“We were life members of the Salvation Army. We joined the board of directors in 1969. She never forgot anything. She was a delight. She could quote anything about Orange history. She was special,” she said.

Harmon said Williams belonged to nearly every organization in Orange and she continued  going to them even though she was sick.

“She believed in doing good for others,” Harmon said.

Williams was born in Austin on July 3, 1929. Her adoptive parents were Grover and Mabel Quillin of San Antonio. 

She was an outstanding student and began San Antonio Community College at the age of 15. She secured a scholarship to attend the University of Texas at Austin from which she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education in 1949 at the age of 19. While teaching elementary school in the Houston area, she met her future husband, Baylor Medical School student Howard C. Williams of Port Arthur. They married on Aug. 26, 1950 and settled in Orange in 1953.

Elizabeth joined the Service League of Orange in 1960, and remained as a sustaining advisor throughout her life. She served as its president in 1970.

She was a founding board member of the Heritage House Association of Orange County since 1977 and received its Outstanding Service Award in 1999. As an active member of the Orange County Historical Society she received the Southeast Texas Arts Council Women’s Hall of Fame Award in 1993. She enjoyed 15 years of working with the Orange Community Players as a board member and actress, and will be remembered for her part as Auntie Mame.

Elizabeth served on the Salvation Army Advisory Board for 33 years, was an active member of the Evergreen Cemetery Board.  She received the Altrusa Club Woman of the Year Award in 1988.