Nature 10

Genevieve "Hilah" Williams

August 27, 2021


A graveside service celebrating the life of Hilah Williams, of Granville, will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 5th, 2021 at Maple Grove Cemetery in Granville. If coming, please wear something colorful and bring a chair, Hilah wanted this to be a celebration of her life. Calling hours will be held at McPeek-Hoekstra Funeral Home in Granville on Saturday, September 4th, 2021 from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m..

Hilah was born August 3, 1931 to the late Rev. Orville and Gertrude (Pletcher) Gibbs in McArthur, Ohio where her father was an E.U.B. Pastor, of what was called a circuit of several small churches. She came from a large family of 12 girls and 2 boys and she was number 5. The family moved to Newark, Ohio where her father pastored C.E. United Brethren Church.  At age 15, Hilah met Bernie, the love of her life, while attending church. Hilah graduated from Newark High School in 1949 where she had loved playing the French horn in the band.  The Newark Alumni Band played a few years ago to her delight and she was so excited to play and march again. On October 15, 1949, Bernie and Hilah married at the church where they had met. Together they celebrated 71 years last October.

Hilah was employed at The People’s Bank and later worked at Aileen Dunkin’s in Granville. Bernie and Hilah were kept busy with their 6 children; Michelene, Randy, David, Doug, Lisa, and Tammy. Hilah was a devoted Methodist member leading the United Methodist Women’s Group, Mother’s Day Banquets, and while at C.E. United Methodist Church, leading Vacation Bible School several years. One of her favorite things was singing at church.

Life changed in the early 80’s when her husband and son were hurt in a plane crash.  In 1984, they decided to open The Elm’s Pizza in Granville. Since then every member of the family including grandchildren, cousins, and friends have worked at the pizza shop where Bernie still goes in every day to grind the cheese. Hilah loved talking to all her customers and she never met a stranger. She was a big hugger and adopted all of her children’s friends as her own. All Elm’s employees have also thought of her as mom. She always made sure that friends and family always had a place to come for the holidays. When she and her family got together they never said goodbye without singing their favorite hymns and the Gibbs’ family song “What a Day.”  She can now say she has seen Jesus and her family knows and trusts that she is singing, dancing, and overjoyed in her new body! Hilah was a wonderful mother who taught her children to love God and family. She was a wonderful example of a Christian woman.

A special thanks to Hilah’s caregivers; Joyce Vest, Debbie Linton, Jennifer Bachelor, Lavina Cooperider and Trish Purcell. With the help of these wonderful women Hilah’s last days were full of love and special care.

Hilah went to heaven August 27th at the age of 90.

Surviving are her husband Bernie; children and their families, Michelene (Wayne) Petersen, and their children, Josh Petersen, (Gabriel Williams), and Elisha (David) Mason and their child Ellie June; Randy Williams (Theresa Nadolson), and their children, Jeremiah, Timothy, Genevieve, and BJ (Christy) Williams, and their children, Saywer, Grace, Levi; Heather Williams and her children, Teysia and Lazerick Edmead; David (Susan) Williams and their children, Ben (Jessica), and Dan; Doug Williams, Lisa (Ben) Englefield and their children, Cody, Ashley (Neil) Dewitt and their children, Blair, Paige, and Laine; Ali Englefield and her children, Madi, Holton, and Tabitha; Tammy Williams; and Lovina Cooperider, an  adopted  daughter. Also surviving are siblings, Carole Skinner, Sandra (Rev. Emmitt) Eccard, Jackie (Jim) Gregg, Joan Krystof, Susan (Jerry) Metzler, Trisha Purcell, Elaine (Tom) Fletcher; sisters-in-law, Sarah Gibbs and Susie (Neil) Hartfield; and many, many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Hilah was preceded in death by her brothers, Orville Franklin and John Gibbs; sisters and brothers-in-law, Lavada (Mac) McMurray, Jean (Nelson) Mathews, Mary Lou Brown, and Nancy (Paul) Hamilton and Max Skinner.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Memorial contributions may be sent in care of the funeral home for the purchase of memorial bench that will be placed in Granville in honor of Hilah. McPeek-Hoekstra Funeral Home, P.O. Box 185, Granville, OH 43023.



To send flowers to Genevieve "Hilah" Williams' family, please visit our floral store.


Calling Hours
September 4, 2021

4:30 PM to 7:00 PM
McPeek-Hoekstra Funeral Home
133 South Prospect Street, P.O. Box 185
Granville, OH 43023

Graveside Service
September 5, 2021

12:00 PM
Maple Grove Cemetery, Granville

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