Helen Winifred Williams

helen  williams
Helen “Brownie” Winifred Morgan Williams, 89, of Fairfax, Virginia, passed away on March 27, 2022. She is survived by her loving husband of 64 years, Spencer Williams. Born in Rome, Georgia to William Brown Morgan III and Lena Stephens Morgan, Brownie grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. She is also survived by her sister, Pat Reid, and her children, John (Stacey) Williams, Laurie Lopez, and Kati Williams. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Patricia “Nina” Anne Williams Burke. She is survived by her grandsons, Andres Lopez, Landon Williams, and Bowen Williams; her granddaughters, Spencer Williams, Erica Lopez, and Alwyn Williams; her nephews, Britt and Bruce Reid; her grandnephew, Brandon, her grandnieces, Maryann and Brittany, and her great-grandnieces and grandnephews in Tennessee.

Brownie was born in Georgia and grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. She got the nickname “Brownie” due to her resemblance to her father, who went by his middle name “Brown.” She was deeply proud of being a “Southern girl” who valued manners, hospitality, family, and of course, Southern food. She called sweet tea the “house wine of the South” and was fond of reminiscing that she started drinking coffee at age 5 with her father.

Brownie loved literature and books. Special favorites were the Alfred Leland Crabb books about Nashville and “Miss Susie Slagle’s”, the story of a Baltimore boarding house for medical students that sparked a lifelong interest in medicine. She also loved Shakespeare and religious books. She graduated from Blue Mountain College, and over the years taught in elementary school, Head Start, and preschools. Never one to shy away from a new challenge or interest, she finally got into healthcare, becoming a home health aide in her sixties.

Brownie met Spencer in a bible study group in Nashville and married in Belmont Heights Baptist Church. They shared a love of books and literature and liked to make up poems and songs together. While raising four children, they moved around the country, but she always provided a loving home. She and Spencer spent the last 48 years in Virginia, where she made many friends and touched many lives.

It was here in Virginia that Brownie converted to Catholicism, a life-changing event for her. She made many lifelong friends and participated in many church activities. These included feeding the homeless at Christ House, joining the Cursillo movement, the annual Labor Day picnic here at St. Mary’s, becoming a Lay Cistercian, and going on retreats at the Trappist monastery.

Brownie loved music, both listening and playing. She played guitar and taught herself other instruments. She was generous in sharing her music with her family and church groups. She had a poem published in her 50s. Brownie enjoyed word play and trading puns. She coined a lot of phrases that became family lore, such as “I’m in good shape for the shape I’m in” and “I’ll eat anything that doesn’t eat me first”.

Most of all, Brownie loved people. She treated everyone with dignity and kindness and treasured her family and friends. Her three daughters were named respectively after her sister Pat, her college president whom she adored, and her best friends Kitty and Valda. She had an unmatched optimism and joy of life and appreciated simple things. Brownie could sit contentedly for hours with a cup of coffee, a scone, and a good book. She was so proud of her six beloved grandchildren and always sent them cards for birthdays and other holidays. Brownie would give you anything she had but was most generous with her love and good cheer. She truly demonstrated the love of Christ at all times.

Brownie always told her family that as long as she had a roof over her head, so would they. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to housing for Ukrainian refugees at Welcome.US or a similar organization.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, March 30, at St. Mary of Sorrows Historic Church, Ox Road & Fairfax Station Rd, Fairfax Station, VA 22039.

For Brownie’s full obituary, please see https://www.moneyandking.com/.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline


  1. I am saddened that I am just now seeing this obituary for Brownie. She was truly a remarkable woman. We were in Scripture class together for several years, and when Brownie spoke you could hear a pin drop because no one wanted to miss anything she said, which was usually very profound. She was brilliant, and I would have loved to have known her when she was younger. May peace be with her husband and family. I know you will miss her very much. May she be resting in the loving arms of Jesus, Whom she knew very well.

    • Thanks for your note, Cathy. Sorry I didn’t see it before now, but was just visiting the page on her birthday today. We all miss her but remember her with joy and love. She brought those gifts to everyone she knew.
      John Williams

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Accessibility Tools