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Ethel was born February 16, 1922 in the Bunger community of rural Young County to Coy D. and Millie Gathings. Ethel graduated from Graham High School in 1940 and moved to Fort Worth in 1943 to contribute to the World War II production effort at the Consolidated Aircraft Factory building B-24 Liberators. Ethel, her sister Nell and thousands of “Rosie the Riveters” just like her, worked 12 hours a day six days a week, often on the night shift, until victory at the end of the war in September 1945. There she met Arthur Williamson who had come to Fort Worth from Tennessee seeking the better job opportunities offered in Texas. Arthur and Ethel were married on June 22, 1946 and made their home in the Poly neighborhood in Fort Worth where they raised three children and attended Birchill Baptist Church where she was the organist and children’s music director. Ethel also taught private piano lessons.
Ethel had a great love of music. She took piano lessons and studied through correspondence classes to attain a certificate in music education. The family moved to Weatherford in 1968 and moved their church membership to First Baptist Church in Weatherford. Ethel was active in the children’s music program and when the church opened Weatherford’s first licensed professional daycare center Ethel was the center’s music director. She was affectionately known to the children as “Ms. Ethel”. Ethel continued in that role until she retired. Ethel loved her students and also caring for her five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Ethel was preceded in death by her parents; a teenage brother, Milton; her sister, Geneva; her daughter, Linda Barnstein and Linda’s husband, Rex Barnstein; and an infant son.
Survivors: Her husband of 65 years, Arthur Williamson of Eastland; son Malcolm Williamson and wife, Pat of Carbon, TX.; daughter, Elaine Carter and husband, Ronnie of Weatherford; sister, Nell Goodson of Fort Worth; brother, Leonard Gathings and wife Joyce of Graham; grandchildren, Lisa Fuller and husband, Steve of North Richland Hills, Brian Barnstein of Hurst, Lesley Belle and husband, James of Austin, Rebecca Perales and husband, Michael of Weatherford, Austin Carter and wife, Jennifer of Weatherford; eight great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and many friends.