Dennis Williams - obituary

Jan 12, 2014

From the Cincy Blues Society group mailing by on Friday, 1/10/14:

Dennis A. Williams, 57, originally and most recently of Cincinnati, Ohio, passed away from acute complications of liver disease on January 7th, 2014 at University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Dennis is survived by his devoted partner, Amy Lowe, and his two sons, Brandon and Aaron.

Dennis, sole child of a well-respected minister, began his life singing in the church, where he came into his love affair with music, which remained his constant and lifelong purpose. It was also in the church where he met his first love and wif e of 27 years, Bekah Williams, who mothered his two children, to whom he was forever dedicated.

His passion for music was, in his own words, kept under his hat at times when making a living in music became challenging, so he wore other hats as well. Besides song, his other great talent was his innate charisma and skill with communication. He put this gift to use in his long career selling consulting services to Fortune 100 companies as a National Account Executive. For many years, he worked as on air talent in broadcast radio and in artist relations for independent record labels. He also lent his distinctive voice to many promotions, including local and national advertisements and narration. The great variety of experiences he had in the entertainment business laid the groundwork for his own musical career.

Dennis Williams' musical career spanned five decades. After his early days of singing gospel music in churches in cities across the states, he turned to rock music, playing with his first wife and others in such projects as "Cincinnati Joe", "Rough and Ready", and "The Snake Handlers". In the late 1980's, he produced an original record with his first wife and the late John Farris, called "Perfect Pair". After having children, his musical career took something of a back seat to providing for his family for some two decades, but when his sons neared adulthood, he returned to the music scene. In his later years, he adopted the mantle of "Willy D&q uot;, lending his efforts to blues works in groups such as the Sonny Mormon Band. He also lent his talents to rock and R&B projects, perhaps most notably with Clay Tritsch and Mark Barlow. However, most significant to Dennis were his projects honoring diseased local musicians, such as Lonnie Mack, Hank Ballard, Denzil "Dumpy" Rice, and unsung artists like "Uncle" Russell Givens.

It was in the latter days of his musical career, he met Amy Lowe; his greatest supporter, best friend, and soul mate. Throughout the trials of his final years, he drew great strength from his relationship with Amy, which was passionate, mutually-encouraging, beautiful, and uplifting to all their friends. He helped foster and cultivate creativity in all w ho knew him, perhaps most significantly in Amy. Through their relationship, she developed previously unrealized vision and artistic talent, the scope and focus of which is ever-evolving and expanding. She, and the many others he influenced, will continue to draw courage and inspiration from his presence in their lives.

His closest friends and loved ones wish to welcome all who would join them in celebrating his life and career in a musical tribute, this Sunday, January 12, from 2:00-6:00 P.M. at Bocca Live, at 749 Ohio St Rt. 28, Milford, OH. 45150. To share stories, experiences, and media of Willy D, or for more information regarding the memorial, visit Any charitable donations to be made in Willy D's hon or can be directed to the non-profit organization founded to support local musicians, Play It Forward (