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Longtime fire department volunteers are Christmas Parade grand marshals

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June and Jimmie Williams

by Larry Chowning

The Middlesex Volunteer Fire Department Woman’s Auxiliary has named Jimmie and June Williams of Urbanna as this year’s grand marshals of the Annual Urbanna Hometown Christmas Parade set for Friday, December 5, at 7 p.m. 

“Jimmie and June have been such assets to our fire department and rescue squad,” said Lois Jean Brooks, chair of the parade and festivities. “They are a great example of what a lifetime of volunteerism is all about, and we are extremely pleased they have accepted to be this year’s Urbanna Christmas Parade grand marshals.”

June and Jimmie were both born and raised in Middlesex County, Jimmie in Revis and June in Deltaville. Jimmie was working at Norton Food Company in Urbanna when fellow worker Woodrow Gresham introduced him to June. They married in 1953 and lived above the old Five & Ten Cent Store (now Virginia Street Cafe) in Urbanna.

Jimmie and June played important roles running the old Rappanna Theatre in Urbanna after the fire department purchased the theater from Cuthbert Bristow and Sidney Muire.

“I was a founding member of the rescue squad auxiliary, and I joined the fire department auxiliary in 1962,” said June. “The auxiliary operated the concession stand at the theater and I’d go down on Thursday and get ready for the Friday night movie.

June said, “When the theater closed, we focused on the Urbanna Oyster Festival, and we started selling oyster stew at the festival inside one of the bays at the firehouse,” she said.

“We’d sell stew until about 2 or 3 p.m. and then we’d cook food for the banquet at Middlesex High School for the antique car organization that came every year,” said June.

“I’m still very active in both auxiliaries, but Jimmie has slowed down as he has gotten older,” she said.

June has held every office in both the fire department and rescue squad auxiliaries, and Jimmie was an officer in the fire department for over 30 years.

He was mayor of the Town of Urbanna for 14 years in the 1970s and 1980s. During his tenure as mayor, the Urbanna School was torn down by the town, the town’s sewage treatment plant was installed, and the John Mitchell Map was purchased. “We saw a lot of change in those 14 years, but I was real lucky to have good councilmen working alongside me,” he said.

June and Jimmie have two children, Rebecca and Albert, and they have two grandchildren.

June and Jimmie live in the home they built in 1961 on Linden Avenue in Urbanna on the former Fireman’s Carnival/baseball grounds.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 11.25.2014

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