September 15, 1949 - March 21, 2020
Thomas MacDonald-Williams, son of John and Margaret Asher (MacDonald) Williams, was born September 15, 1949, at Forres, Morayshire, Scotland, United Kingdom. Tom spent his childhood in Elgin, Scotland, attending Elgin Academy. He continued his education at Elgin College of Further Education and at Technical Colleges in Inverness and Aberdeen, Scotland, graduating with distinction in Preservation and Restoration of Ancient Monuments from the City and Guilds Institute of London in 1970. His career with the U.K. Government’s Department of the Environment, Ancient Monuments Division, took him to London, where in 1974, he met Sharon Grimm, who was on a backpacking adventure with her friend Carolyn Hall. After backpacking for 6 months, Sharon returned to London and found work as a dietitian.
On March 1, 1975, Tom and Sharon were united in marriage at the West Kensington Registry Office in London. The couple made their home in London until 1977, when they emigrated to Manning. They owned and operated the Corner Café until 1994. After retiring from the cafe business, Tom worked for Fencemaster and then utilized his cooking skills at The Manning Plaza and The Haus Barn Restaurant.
When Tom came to Manning, the first thing he wanted to get involved with was The Manning Fire Department. He was fondly regarded as "SELF" and he always called the rest of the gang "THE LADS". He served on The Department from 1978 to 2005 - most of the time as its Secretary. He was Life Member of the Hayes Township Schuetzen Verein, a supporter of The Scottish Nationalist Party, a member of Manning's Urban Renewal Board, Manual Lodge and Salona Chapter of the Easter Star. Tom's Masonic Life had started with Kilmolymock Lodge No. 45 in Elgin, Scotland.
Tom, also known as "SCOTTIE" was a man of many talents and loves. He loved to work with his hands in creative ways. He loved good craftsmanship and built many stone walls and fireplaces using his skill as a Stonemason. He was quite an artist, often doing watercolors for others. He was an avid "chef" turning his creativity toward the kitchen. He would try any cuisine, and any recipe, and was not happy when Sharon invaded his kitchen. That was his place! His many other loves included stamp and postcard collecting, trains, Chicago World's Fair Memorabilia , the Chicago Cubs, Turner Classic Movies, and Jeopardy. He had so much knowledge in his head that there were few Jeopardy questions he could not answer. He loved to read and acquire more knowledge especially of history and geography. He never quit learning. A young friend said that coming to Tom's house was like a history lesson.
On Saturday, March 21, 2020, Tom passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in his home in Manning, Iowa. He was 70 years of age.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, a brother John Williams, and many aunts, uncles and cousins in Scotland and England. He is survived by his wife Sharon MacDonald-Williams of Manning; sister-in-law Helen Williams of Elgin, Scotland; brother-in-law Dale Bower and his children Carsen and Christine, of Garretson, South Dakota; sister-in-law Debbie Harvey Grimm of Byron Minnesota and her family, special friends David, Carol, Chelsea and Ian Souter, Bob and Gay Wiskus and family and by many other cousins, relatives and friends.
A Celebration of Tom's life will be held from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM on Saturday, October 16, 2021, in the Kerkhoff Shelter at Trestle Park in Manning.