Mary Lucy Williams Littleton, a 64-year resident of Auburn, AL, peacefully departed this life at home on Sept. 11, 2021. She was born on June 7, 1930, along with her twin sister, and they were baptized together at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Tallahassee, FL, where both their parents and grandparents were married, and where the twins would later also be married. She was the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Franklin Williams, Jr., of Tallahassee, and the granddaughter of Dr. and Mrs. J.F. Williams of Monticello, FL, and of Mr. and Mrs. John Cabell Burwell of Tallahassee.
She is survived by her husband of 67 years, Taylor Dowe Littleton; by her children Dowe Williams (Elizabeth), George Burwell (Dorothy), John Franklin (Carole), and Mary Wood; and by her grandchildren Wells (Meagan), Taylor, Lucas, Benjamin, Lucy, Annie, Kaitlyn, and Gabriel; and great-granddaughter Laekeyn; and by her beloved twin sister, Grace Elizabeth “Betty” Kane; and by her affectionate nieces and nephew: Jack Kane, Beth Bice, Grace Johnson, Lucy Carter, and their families.
Lucy attended public schools in Tallahassee, where at Leon High School she was surrounded by a group of life-long friends. Following the death of both of their parents by age 17, the twins came into the loving care of their maternal aunt Sara Cabell Burwell, as well as their father’s youngest brother George Williams and his wife Annie Golden, to whom they remained close for the next 60 years. Lucy graduated from Florida State University, where she was a member of the Gamma chapter of the Chi Omega Fraternity. Before her marriage in 1954, she taught school in Tampa and Tallahassee. With her growing family, she moved to Auburn in 1957, where they were among the first members of the newly completed Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Lucy was one of the founding teachers of Holy Trinity Day School, and midway through her Auburn residency, with close friends initiated a successful entrepreneurial venture, the Ampersand Gift Shop, located on Thach Avenue across from the campus. For at least two decades, before Auburn gained a notable restaurant scene, she also in a small but distinctive way served the cultural purposes of the University and community by hosting in her home, two or three times a year with her elegant cookery, a series of some of the most distinguished writers, scientists, Nobel Laureates, and Pulitzer Prize recipients – from the U.S. and England and South Africa – who came to Auburn to lecture to students and visit with faculty and University friends. (“I had forgotten about Southern hospitality,” wrote one of the nation’s most prominent journalists and political commentators, “until I enjoyed dinner in your home with you and your Auburn friends.”) Lucy also wrote a series of cookbooks, and was co-author of the popular Auburn Entertains. She was a life-long member of Holy Trinity, a member of Chi Omega Alumnae, Village Gardeners, the Colonial Dames of America, and a charter member of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art. For the many whose lives were touched by Lucy’s, she will be remembered for her gentle manner and generous spirit, for her high sensitivity to the moral claims of friendship, for her engaging curiosity and tolerant opinions in matters of social discourse, and especially for her devotion to her family.
Special thanks to the many caregivers and helpers who were there for Lucy, especially Susan and Nancy Brown and Amanda Ford. Family services will be held at the Holy Trinity Columbarium. In lieu of flowers, please make memorials to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church or the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art at Auburn University.
Frederick-Dean Funeral Home of Opelika, AL is directing.