Marion Coates Williams was born into a loving Christian family, where moral and spiritual values were taught by precept and example. At an early age, her parents helped her weave a path for her future designing educational opportunities as an end result.
The first hurdle along this path was completed when Marion graduated from Flint Northern High school in 1939. Continuing along the path, she entered and graduated from Flint Junior College (now Mott Community College). She immediately enrolled at Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, and graduated two years later with a Bachelor of Science degree. Mrs. Williams earned a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
In the fall of 1943, Marion was hired as a classroom teacher for the school district of Flint, giving her distinction of being the FIRST BLACK CLASSROOM TEACHER in the Flint school district.
In 1950, Marion Coates was united in marriage with T. Wendell Williams, and they became the proud parents of three lovely children: T. Wendell, Jr., Helen Rochelle, and Karen Marie. She is also grandmother to five precious grandchildren.
The late T. Wendell Williams was the first BLACK member of the Flint Board of Education. A pediatrician by profession, Williams Community School and Education Center is named in his honor.
Mrs. Williams joined Vernon Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church with her parents at an early age. The family became an integral part of African Methodism, not just at Vernon, but throughout the connection of African Methodism.
She remains active at her church, and serves in many capacities, as organist and pianist, Adult Sunday School teacher, Treasurer of the Steward Board, member of the Stewardess Board, and is active in the Women’s Missionary Society.
Marion Coates Williams has made a positive impact on the teaching profession, giving tirelessly her time and talents. She was a classroom teacher for several years and then was Director of the Follow-Through Project, designed to give every child the opportunity to learn and develop to his or her highest potential, a highly successful project for the Flint schools. Currently, she is a mentor in the Host Program at Northwestern Community School.
Mrs. Williams shows keen interest in community organizations. She is a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society; member of Church Women United, the National Council of Negro Women, the Pierians, and the Links.
Among Mrs. Williams’ most cherished honors and awards: Family of the Year from Flint Chapter Jack and Jill; Music Award—Religious Academy, Vernon Chapel; NAACP Youth Recognition Award; Honored by Vernon Chapel AME Senior Choir; Honored by Williams Community School; and, in 1989, received the Distinguished Fellow Award from the Northern High School Alumni Association.
Mrs. Williams’ philosophy is that you can best serve God by serving others.