Rosalind Williams was co-administrator of the Washington County Home for more than three decades, handling residents' medical bills and serving as a counselor and sympathetic ear for residents and employees alike.
To Diane Van Meter, 41, she was a "substitute mom."
"She taught me how to cook and how to say nice things about people," Van Meter said. "She was a very special person."
EVAN BEVINS The Marietta Times
Washington County Home resident Diane Van Meter, left, works on haunted house decorations with volunteer Cindy Biss Tuesday afternoon. Van Meter considered Roz Williams, the longtime co-administrator at the home, a “substitute mom.” Williams passed away in September.
"Roz" Williams passed away on Sept. 19 at age 69 after suffering a stroke June 11, then a heart attack and another stroke on Sept. 12. Williams was co-administrator of the Washington County Home, along with Ted Williams, her husband of 36 years. The couple had lived in the home for 32 years and raised their son, Jeremiah, 35, there.
The home is a farm with cows and hogs, along with a 100-bed facility that provides a place to live for those who are homeless or need extra medical or physical care.
"We came to the home as a married couple, which was one of the state requirements," said Ted Williams. "We had a house on (Ohio) 26, and we sold it because the other requirement was that we had to live here."
Rosalind 'Roz' Williams
Born Oct. 29, 1941, in New Matamoras.
Died Sept. 19, 2011.
Served with husband, Ted, as co-administrator of the Washington County Home for 32 years.
On Tuesday, Roz Williams was remembered fondly by people who both live and work at the home.
"She was here for staff and residents, no matter what," said Linda Williams, activities director and no relation to the administrators. "She was a friend to us, a true friend."
Shirley Epps, 74, recalled a time when she was having a problem with another county home resident and went to Roz, who "cleared it right up."
Mary Allen, director of nursing, said residents deal with their sadness about Roz's passing in their own ways.
"Most of them just feel that there's a hole, at least that's how they've expressed it to me," she said.
Roz and Ted Williams first met when he worked as an administrative assistant at Community Action and she was the manager at the Parkway Townhouses in New Matamoras, a low-income apartment complex.
"She was at her office and I walked in and we talked and set up a date and it just went from there," Ted Williams recalled.
He said the couple grew even closer after Roz's initial stroke, as he took care of her.
Linda Williams recalled Roz returning to the county home after her first stroke. Even though she wasn't officially on the job, she made the rounds with her new walker.
"I don't think she was home a week before she was up and visiting people," Linda Williams said.
Washington County Commissioner Cora Marshall, who spoke in late September at a memorial service for Roz Williams, described her and Ted's marriage as "quite a partnership."
"Roz was Ted's right arm and (her death) has left a huge void. But she has also left a great example," Marshall said.
Marshall said that eventually someone will be hired to step in and take over Roz Williams' duties at the County Home but the decision won't be made right away.
"Ted will play a big role in who is hired but right now he just needs some time. We do appreciate that the staff is working with him and the commissioners will work together with Ted as we have so many times in the past," she said.
Ted Williams plans to help cope with the loss of his wife by keeping busy, he said. The thought of retirement has not crossed his mind.
"I'm not really dealing with this well but I figure I just need to stay as busy as I can," he said. "I have office duties and things to do on the farm and I like it that way."
The two were a perfect match, he said.
"(Roz) was really extroverted and I'm almost the opposite," he said. "But she always had something to talk about and I was always happy to be with her."