|Birth: ||Aug. 6, 1928|
|Death: ||May 10, 1958|
Doris and Fay Williams were the only children of Elmer and Augusta Williams lifelong residents of Hohenwald, Lewis, Tennessee. Within 5 years after WW II the sisters had married young sailors and started families. Doris never left Hohenwald, Fay had lived briefly in Norfolk, Va. with her husband and son. By May of 1958 Fay had returned to Hohenwald with her husband and two young sons. Doris now had 4 children and both women were expecting their next child.
May 10, 1958 was the saturday before Mothers Day. That morning the young women took a spur of the moment shopping trip to Nashville to buy a Mothers Day gift for their mother. That Mothers Day would be a day their mother would remember every day of her remaining 47 years.
The sisters encountered heavy rain on their return trip. On a rain slick State Hwy. 48 their car " apparently skidded sideways into the path of the Atkinson car,which was traveling in the opposite direction. Both cars left the highway after the collision." Mr. Atkinson the soul survivor of the crash, would later recall his watched stopped 2 minutes till 7PM. His 4 year old daughter and the two pregnant sisters were killed instantly. Mrs. Atkinson would die about midnight before reaching Vanderbilt hospital in Nashville. All three of the dead women were in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy.
The Lewis County Herald reported the event as,"The most tragic accident in the history of Lewis County and one of the states worse." As far as I know that statement remains true today over 50 years later.
On Monday every business in town closed for the joint funeral services for the sisters. The crowd spilled out of the spacious Hohenwald Church of Christ into the street. Mrs. Graves daughter, then 7, recalled that at the end of the service the crowd filed past the open coffins of her mother and aunt. She recalls that scene as " going on and on and on..." as if never to end. Funeral services for Mrs. Atkinson and daughter were held Tuesday.
The tragedy reverberated through the lives of the surviving parents, husbands, and six motherless children. A large extended family and an entire community were in shock.
Mrs. Williams near overcome with grief managed to get on with life and worked another 40 years. I don't think a day went by she didn't grieve for her daughters.
Elmer Andrew Williams (1902 - 1971)
Augusta Carroll Williams (1909 - 2005)
Naymond D Graves (1926 - 2008)
Ronald David Graves (1947 - 2004)*
Carol Ann Graves (1949 - 2004)*
Created by: JFJN
Record added: Jul 27, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28566332