Friends and associates of Lynda Anne Brannen Williamson remembered her Wednesday as a gracious and compassionate woman who dedicated a great part of her life to helping others.
Williamson, 51, died Sunday after a lengthy battle with peritoneal cancer.
While she was known for involvement in many endeavors, one of Williamson's most notable accomplishments was forming the Lynda Brannen Williamson Foundation, the mission of which "is to give young women guidance, mentorship, and a path by which to maximize their potential, professionally and personally, thus serving as an example to others," said Statesboro Mayor Jan Moore, who was a foundation board member and friend of Williamson's.
"The foundation that has been created honors the incredibly productive, compassionate, and service-oriented life that Lynda lived," Moore said. "She was a pioneer in our community and one of the finest, most precious people I have known or will ever know. I will be forever proud to say she was my friend."
Williamson graduated from Agnes Scott College with a bachelor's degree in economics, later obtained a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University and then started her career at Georgia Power Electrical Company. She also was a part-time economics professor at GSU, owned a design company, Design Lab, and was founder of Alexander Development Group.
Former employer Frank Beacham remembers Williamson as an asset to Georgia Power.
"She was a great employee," he said. "She did her job and then some, and was outstanding in promoting ( the company)."
Wiliamson was also civic-minded. She held numerous positions, including being a past president of the Rotary Club of Statesboro, a member of the Sea Island Bank Board of Directors, chairwoman of the Metter-Candler Chamber of Commerce and chairwoman of the Statesboro First United Methodist Church council. She was also involved in the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, Statesboro Service League, American Cancer Society, and GSU College of Business Administration Leadership Board.
Williamson was awarded the Deen Day Service to Mankind award for her compassion for others.
"Lynda was like a sister or a cousin to us," said Tony Phillips, who along with his wife, Diane, was a friend of Williamson's. Diane Phillips also battled cancer, he said.
"After she asked Diane to get her student club to design, create and install window treatments in her home, she always asked Diane how the students were doing every time we saw her in public," Tony Phillips said. "I knew Lynda through United Way and A Day For Southern. She was an excellent leader and kept us all encouraged and focused on the real reasons we were fund raising."
Williamson was a kind soul and a joy to know, he said.
"I was thrilled when she was recognized with one of the Deen Day Smith Awards because she deserved the recognition," Phillips said. "Later on, during her illness, when I'd see her, she'd quickly update me on her status and then always turn the conversation to how we were doing with wife Diane's cancer. I would describe her as a genuine servant, a faithful giver and a selfless humanitarian. Through her short life's work she had touched, encouraged and enhanced many lives for the better."
Williamson is survived by her husband, Linwood Hughes Williamson; two sons, Matthew Brinson Williamson and Jonathan Hughes Williamson; two siblings, Irvin Alexander Brannen III and Mary Kay Brannen Schwager; her sister-in-law and husband, Val and Bill Bowers, of Savannah; her in-laws, Hugh and Mary Williamson of Cobbtown; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Anyone who wishes to offer a memorial for Williamson is asked that contributions be made to the Lynda B. Williamson Foundation, P.O. Box 727 Statesboro, GA 30459.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.