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RIP Joe Williams, Orlando Sentinel

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Tim Stephens, May 27, 2015.

  1. Tim Stephens

    Tim Stephens Member

    Joe Williams, sports writer at the Orlando Sentinel since 1978, died last night after a long battle with cancer. He was 58.

    Joe was the utmost professional and I loved working with him during my time at the Sentinel. Joe covered high school sports in the Sentinel's Lake County bureau for much of his career. While the Sentinel became known as a launching pad for a lot of big names in the industry, Joe and colleagues like Bill Buchalter and Buddy Collings were its bedrocks in the community. I loved my time working with them as high schools/local sports editor.

    Joe loved what he did, loved covering his community and telling the stories of its athletes. He covered everything local you could imagine -- high schools, youth baseball, triathlons, you name it. He loved working with coaches and labored over the stats and rankings and getting names right like they were the Super Bowl because, to the kids and parents and friends who read it in the paper, it was. Joe never complained, always brought class and care to the newsroom and was a devoted husband, dad and granddad. He was beloved by the local community for his professionalism and it is fitting that one of his favorite contributions to the Sentinel was his weekly "Good Guys" column that showcased the good deeds of local student-athletes in the classroom and community.

    Thank you, Joe.

    Sentinel senior writer Joe Williams dies of pancreatic cancer - Orlando Sentinel

    Joe Williams Biography
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  2. ChrisLong

    ChrisLong Well-Known Member

    RIP, sir.
  3. BrianFMcLaughlin

    BrianFMcLaughlin New Member

    Great post, Tim S. All so very true. Joe was a good guy.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I also worked with Joe as I toured seemingly all the bureaus for The Orlando Sentinel. He was a great guy and very patient in teaching the parade of whippersnappers about his county.

    Joe was always a truly good and decent guy while covering local sports, which is a tough job.

    I've seen guys get burned out. I've seen guys become complete homers for one of the high schools. I've seen guys who wanted to be friends with the coaches more than a reporter. I've seen guys who ignore certain sports just because they don't like them.

    Joe did none of that. He tried his best every day to cover all the schools, sports and athletes as best he and his fellow Lake County writers could. But he was a nice guy and you could see him wince if he had to write a negative story. He would do his job but he did not like tearing anybody down.

    Joe also was a dedicated family man. Which as anyone knows in this business with crazy hours and busy weekends and full calendars is quite a testament to somone who spent his life as a sports writer.

    It was a pleasure and joy to get to know Joe.
  5. Damn awful news, I've shared many a football sideline or baseball press box with Joe during my Leesburg run. He was a good guy, and he will be missed. I know there are plenty of longtime coaches in Lake and Sumter Counties that will miss Joe.
  6. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

    The post from Other Mikey seems like a good excuse to ask: this isn't our Joe Williams, is it?
  7. Tim Stephens

    Tim Stephens Member

  8. doctorx

    doctorx Member

    Very sorry to hear. Competed with Joe while working at a weekly in Lake County from 1978-82, but it was always a friendly competition, and it was good to see him whenever subsequent assignments took me back there. Guess we last crossed paths at a softball playoff back in 2007. Good guy and a real professional. My prayers go with his family.
  9. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Sad to hear. I worked for a time in Leesburg too and Joe Williams was a rock.
  10. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    RIP. It's always easy to remember those on the major beats at the elite games. But the foundation of newspapers is at the grass-roots/community level. And Tim summed it up perfectly.

    Exactly right.
  11. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    RIP, Joe Williams.
    Nope, not me.
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