Frank Eugene "Gene" Williams

December 28, 2022


May 12,1929 – December 28, 2022

Gene passed peacefully at his home in Charlotte, NC at the age of 93 with his loving long-time caregivers, Shawn, Cherry and Cynthia helping him through the process of leaving his earthly body heavenly ascent.

Gene was born May 12, 1929, in Brooklyn, NY to Ralph Williams and Audrey Williams (nee Hicks). They relocated to Columbus Ohio where his mother met and married Porter Mumford, together raising Gene. After graduating South High, he married and joined the Navy. He was a talented clarinet /saxophone player and became a proud member of the US Navy band.

Following his discharge from the Navy, Gene remained in Columbus, Ohio where his three children were born. Gene’s newspaper career began at the Columbus Journal. Later they relocated to Philadelphia, PA, then to Cherry Hill, NJ where he joined the Philadelphia Daily News/ Inquirer in advertising. There he made a profound impact in advertising as the "one that could seal the deal" top salesman. Gene remarried in 1966 to Barbara “Barbie” Lummis, his loving wife of 56 years before she predeceased him in February of 2021. In 1976 he and Barbie relocated to Charlotte after accepting the offer of Executive Vice President at the Charlotte Observer. Throughout his career Gene sat on numerous boards, including WDAV, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte Rotary, and others. He was an avid supporter of the Charlotte Hornets, Carolina Panthers and Charlotte Checkers teams and their owners receiving multiple accolades from those teams. Gene and Barbie were devoted members the Sardis Presbyterian Church where Barbie played organ and both were dedicated members of the church choir. Gene had a warm personality, making many lifelong friends in Charlotte and during his and Barbie’s world-wide travels. Gene was continuously active in his community. After retirement, he made sure the neighbors received their Charlotte Observer by hand delivering to their homes with his beloved dog, Chloe.

Gene will be missed dearly by his family and friends, co-workers, and the long-time caregivers who helped him through the time of care and then loss of his beloved wife, Barbie, and finally his care during his remaining time in this world. Thank you to his lifelong and dearest friends Rolfe Neill, Charlie Daul and Don Bartell for their unwavering support.

Gene is survived by his son Gary (Anne) Williams, his daughter Deborah (Alexander "Sandy") Bell, his daughter Cathy (Deano) Rea along with seven grandchildren: Geoffrey Williams, Alanna (Dave Wilson) Williams, Andrew (Renay) Rea, Randal (Lauren) Rea, Amanda (Roarke) Aston, Daniel Rea, Colby (Elyse Miller) Bell, and seventeen great grandchildren.

We all thank you for the friendship, love and support you have given to our father.

Funeral services for Gene will be at 2:00 PM on Saturday, January 7, 2023 at Sardis Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends following the service at the church. The memorial service will be available live on the church YouTube channel.  Family and close friends are invited to the interment at 1:15 PM in the Sardis Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Sardis Presbyterian Church, 6100 Sardis Road, Charlotte, NC 28270 or to the Humane Society of Charlotte, 1348 Parker Drive, Charlotte, NC 28208.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC; 28204 (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at

Share your memories & condolences


  • Cassy "Emmenegger" Guth

    We did have some really good laughs with Gene and so glad we were able to visit these past few years. Sending sympathies and hugs to the family! Rest in peace!

  • Tim @ Kathy Emmenegger

    We send our deepest sorrows to Cathy,Deborah and Gary. I never made the trip with my brothers to visit Gene but know they always had a great time and looked forward to it each and every year. May he RIP!

  • Carl "Sonny" Emmenegger

    My cousin Gene was more like a brother to me and certainly was a great mentor to me in early childhood. I will miss him and the annual visit or two to Charlotte. Only hope brother David and him are having a "cigar" up there together with Barbie scolding them for smoking. My condolences to all of his family. May he "rest in peace".

  • Donna Johnson

    Gene was such a fine man. We laugh a lot while I cared for he and his wife. Those was fun time we shared for 2/12 yrs.
    He cared for all people. I know he is with the love of his life Barbara and God. Rest in Peace Gene it’s well deserved.