Beautiful. Faithful. Strong. Elegant. Caretaker. Advocate. Hardworker: These are the attributes that come to mind when we remember our beloved Sophia Artelia Williams. Born to Artelia and Moody Brown on October 30, 1935, Sophia, known to family and friends as Sophie or Lute, was a lifetime resident of Cedar Creek, TX. Rooted by her faith in Christ, and esteemed as a trailblazer for her commitment to family, education, and the Bastrop county community at large, Sophie’s life itself spoke to her character and her legacy will live for generations to come.
Committing to lifelong matrimony, Sophie married her high school sweetheart, Elroy Williams affectionately known as Bubba, in 1954. Together, they shared love, ambition, and entrepreneurship for over 65 years and worked side by side to accomplish their goals. As they forged their future together, Diane and Rosalyn Williams were born to their union. Diane was an engineer who later followed in her mother’s path as an educator, and their daughter Rosalyn, who preceded them in death, gave them their one grandchild, Brandon Lenzy for whom Sophie was exceedingly proud and adored greatly.
As one who loved Jesus and committed her life to serving Him, Sophie, who later became a Mother at Hopewell Primitive Baptist Church, lived by Ephesians 2:10: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Lifelong member of Hopewell, Sophie served as Church Clerk for nearly fifty years, sang in the choir for several years, and was most recently the oldest Mother at Hopewell. Sophie loved reading her bible, spending time with the Lord, and serving others; as such, she was known for asking thought-provoking questions during Sunday School, and one of her greatest passions was for outreach ministry where she would visit nursing homes, volunteer at food pantries, and make donations to those in need.
As a child, Sophie attended Hopewell Grade School and then later attended Emile High School, where she graduated in 1954. After graduating, Sophie attended Huston-Tillotson where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Education in 1958. And later, she went on to Prairie View A&M University where she attained her Master of Education while working full time and raising two daughters.
Most notable is Sophie’s sincere commitment to education. In 2000, Sophie retired from teaching with 39 years of service, 23 of which were for BISD. Her teaching career began in the still- segregated Emile High School from 1965-1967. After which, she went on to teach for Austin ISD before returning to Bastrop in 1973 where she taught at Mina Elementary, Cedar Creek Elementary, and Bastrop Intermediate. Throughout the community, she made a significant impact on the generations of students she taught, and to this day, her former adult students reminisce about what a good teacher she was, how strict she was, how beautiful she was, and most importantly how much she cared about their overall success. Nonetheless, her commitment to education did not stop there: From 2001 to 2010, Sophie served on the BISD Board of Trustees where she advocated for teachers and students alike.
Being a community activist, Sophie was a member of numerous community organizations such as the Lions Club, Bastrop County Historical Society, the Calenthe History Society, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Hopewell Rosenwald School Restoration Project.
Sophie is survived by her beloved husband, Elroy Williams; her daughter, Diane Ellis; her grandson, Brandon Lenzy; her brother, Martin Brown; and sisters-in-law, Lillie Dale Barnett and Sue Ann Hyder. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Rosalyn Lenzy; siblings Jewel Brown, Moody Brown, Milton Brown, and Gladys Madison; and brother-in-law, Donald Ray Williams. She leaves to cherish her memory a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
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