Willie Williams retires from Alabama Extension

Published 10:00 am Monday, November 20, 2023

By: Tiffany Albritton-Hickman

Longtime community servant Willie Williams has retired from a fulfilling and rewarding career as a 4-H pioneer in the tri-county area. As 4-H Foundation Regional Extension Agent, Williams’ career spans over 30 years of dedicated service to the children and communities he has so selfishly served. 

The four “Hs” in 4-H stand for head, heart, hands, and health. Willie Williams said he has stood true to the mission of 4-H by providing meaningful opportunities for all youth and adults to work together to create sustainable change in the community.

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The long-time 4-H expert said he chose a career with the Extension System because of his love for young people. 

“I enjoy giving the youth information, and exposing them to new adventures, helping them to realize their goals,” he said. Willie began his journey on April 1, 1993, as an Agent in Training in Mobile County, before landing in Butler County in May of 1994.

While in Butler County, Willie assumed the role of Assistant County Agent, where his focus was primarily on the 4-H club. Through his efforts, children gained access to a variety of extra curricular activities such as acting, singing, archery, forestry judging, a number of field trips to colleges and universities, and various competitions. 

Willie was promoted to Associate County Agent, and later to County Agent during his tenure in Butler County. 

Greenville residents Terry and Janet Williams, reflect on Willie’s kindness towards their family during his time in Greenville. 

“He was very informative, and provided us with resources for our youngest son Tedric,” Janet Williams said. Terry Williams recalled helping set up for a barbecue cook-off one year, assisting in one of the many community events spearheaded by Willie. 

“He was always doing something fun and engaging for the children, and he’ll always be remembered for that,” Terry said. “He’s just an all around good guy, and he’s still a friend.”

From 2004-2020, Willie moved his services to Monroe County, where he continued his commitment to serving families. There he would be given the title of County Coordinator. Along with his supervisor responsibilities, Willie would still contribute to 4-H, focusing on youth leadership, horse club, shooting sports, community gardens, and more.

In 2020, Willie joined Bullock County as a 4-H Agent. Carla Elston, with the Bullock County Extension Office expressed her gratitude towards Williams. 

“As Mr. Williams enters a well deserved retirement, we express our heartfelt gratitude for his unwavering commitment,” Elston said. “His impact extends far beyond the Extension family and friends; it resonates deeply with the thousands of 4-H students he has inspired over the years.”

Willie said he enjoyed his time in Butler County, and will always consider it home. 

When asked what he plans to do next Willie said, “ I will continue to inspire and teach the youth, helping them to gain financial security, and motivating all people to continue to reach for their goals.” 

He is currently working as an insurance agent with New York Life insurance company.