Reverend Mary Edith “Tinker” Williams

Reverend Mary Edith “Tinker” Williams

Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Reverend Mary Edith “Tinker” Williams, former missionary to Japan.

August 22, 1924 – August 4, 2012

Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of former missionary Reverend Mary Edith “Tinker” Williams on Saturday, August 4, 2012, at the Health Service Center of Pilgrim Place retirement community in Claremont, California.

Tinker and her late husband, Reverend Philip E. Williams, served in Japan on behalf of the United Church of Christ from 1949 until they retired in 1997. In 1957 Philip published Journey into Mission, a memoir of their first term in Japan. According to the book jacket, it “reflects the joy of climbing Mr. Fuji, the thrill of knowing Japanese Christians, the pangs of conscience of a sensitive American overseas. Satisfaction in teaching, struggles to learn a new language, rewards of work camps, problems about building fences are all here. This is an intensely personal book in which the reader gains insights into the daily life of any missionary and finds, with Phil and Tinker Williams, a clearer understanding of the Christian mission.”

Reverend Williams is survived by her daughter Carolyn Joy, in Japan, and a daughter in Calais, Maine. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by their daughter Bonnie. 

A memorial service is planned for August 29, 2012, at Pilgrim Place in Claremont. 

Tinker gave her body to Loma Linda University for medical study.  Her ashes will be buried in Japan next to her husband’s at a later date.  

Messages of condolence may be sent to Joy Williams, 627 Leyden Lane, Claremont, CA 91711. Memorial gifts may be sent to Global Ministries, 700 Prospect Avenue East, Cleveland, OH 44115-1100, noting they are in memory of Reverend Mary “Tinker” Williams.