Janice Lee Sommerville Williams
1926 - 2013
Janice Williams, singer, player, and songwriter, was active in church music from her teenage years until just before her death. She also enjoyed painting, wrote poetry, and traveled widely.
Janice was born in West Union, West Virginia, the only child of Luther Hobert and Bernice Marie Kent Sommerville. She graduated from high school in 1944 and married her childhood sweetheart, Wilton E. Williams, Jr., in 1945. They would have three children Diana (Weiss), Phillip Kent, and Timothy Andrew. The family resided in Pennsylvania and West Virginia at different times before settling in Toll Gate, West Virginia, in 1972.
She composed a significant amount of music while she and her husband, an engineer, and their children resided in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Shortly after joining the Bucks County Seventh-day Adventist Church, Williams presented a song, We Must Be One, at the Pennsylvania camp meeting.
When they returned to their native West Virginia, she served as a pianist in the Clarksburg, West Union Company, and Toll Gate SDA Churches. She was a pianist for the Mountain View Conference (West Virginia and western Maryland) camp meetings for over 25 years.
She enjoyed singing and was a member of many choral groups and a founding member of the Bucks County Choraliers. She acted in a number of musical theater productions and was an accompanist and singer in Easter and Christmas cantatas throughout her life. In 1983 she published a book of her poems, People, Places, and Things, which focused on life in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
She enjoyed traveling, and when her husband was transferred to different countries as a consultant for U.S. Steel, she traveled with him to Taiwan, Republic of China ROC; Turkey; and some European countries. While in Taiwan she sang with and was sometimes pianist for The Singing Ambassadors, a choral group of mostly Americans that toured in Taiwan.
She was living in West Union, West Virginia, when she died at age 86, one month after the death of her husband.
Sources: Obituary, U.S. Cemetery and Funeral Home Collections, June 2013; biography in 99 New Songs, editor, Evelyn Pursley-Kopitzke, 2003.
A Partial listing of Sacred Songs by Janice L. S. Williams
A Plain Man Solo 4 Min.
Black Words on White Paper (And Jesus’ Red Blood) 3.5 Min.
Forever (He Lives Forever) 2.5 Min.
God’s Gift (Gift Of Jesus To The World) 4 Min.
Going Home to Meet My Jesus Gospel 4 Min.
Have You Met Jesus? (You Won't Want the World Or Its Treasure) 3 Min.
I Am Not Home Yet (As Long As I'm in This World) 2.5 Min.
Ignoring the Lord Solo 3 Min.
I Saw Three Crosses Solo 5 Min.
Joy With the Angels Gospel 4 Min.
Morning Prayer (From E.G. White’s Words) 2.5 Min.
Oriental Christmas (No Snow Or Mistletoe But Christ is There) 2.5 Min.
Overflowing Love (We Are Constantly Loved) 3 Min.
Sabbath School Welcome 3.5 Min.
S.D.A. Camp Meeting Time 3 Min.
See the Other Man Solo 3 Min.
This Imperfect Me Solo 4 Min.
We Must Be One (Unity Of The Church) 3 min.