Van Zandt County Sheriff Pat Burnett remembers the first time he met D.G. Williams as a young officer.
Burnett was dropping off a portable radio at the Canton Police Department, where Williams served as chief for more than 20 years, when he saw the man known as Hoss the first time.
“I’d only heard Hoss on the radio. Hoss’s voice was very deep, and I thought he was about 6-foot-tall,” Burnett said with a laugh. “I walked in and he said ‘I’m the chief.’ And I said, ‘yes sir,’ and he knew exactly what I was talking about.”
Williams’ appearance didn’t match up with the booming, deep voice Burnett came to know over the airwaves, but by many accounts, his personality did.
Williams was a soldier who served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War as well, his obituary reads.
What those who knew him seem to remember most was his willingness to lend a hand to anyone who needed it.
“He just really felt the people were his job,” said Barbara Galloway, a long-time friend who got to know Williams as police chief. “He had the people’s interest at heart.”
Throughout the course of more than a decade, Bill Nixon, a member at First Baptist Church in Canton where Williams was a member, said he saw the man work and help families extensively over the years.
Nixon taught the Sunday school class Williams attended regularly in the two years before his death, although their friendship went farther back than that, he said.
Nixon said within the city and church, Williams had a special relationship with the community’s youth — both the good and the bad — whom he tried constantly to help.
“He took care of generations of kids,” he said. “Wherever he could do help, he would.”
He said in his years in Canton, Williams made himself a cornerstone and fixture of the community who people knew.
Burnett said Williams was more than just a fellow law enforcement officer to him and others who worked with him.
“He was a mentor to me and to other people,” he said. “I know his church is going to miss him and the citizens of Canton are going to miss him.”
Funeral services for Williams are slated for today at his church, 303 Athens St. Interment will follow at the Haven of Memories cemetery in Canton.