Timothy L. Williams, owner of the popular and successful Big Apple Deli on Woodville Road in Oregon, a well-known and respected businessman as well as an avid outdoorsman, passed away on Tuesday April 3 at the age of 66 surrounded by the love of family and friends.
A gathering of family and friends with a time for sharing stories with each other will be Sunday, October 28th from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Centennial Chapel of Evanson Jensen Funeral Home in Hettinger, ND. Supper will follow at the Pastime Steakhouse that evening.
Tim was a 1970 graduate of Northwood High School and was a standout football player for the Northwood Rangers. He played quarterback and linebacker his senior year and led the Rangers to an undefeated season and a Lakeshore Conference championship. In football, he was named conference player of the year as a senior, and was awarded all-conference honors as a basketball player. In addition, he was a member of the conference champion mile-and-a-half relay team in track. Tim continued to support of the Northwood athletic program over the years with his many Big Apple Open golf events funding scholarships in memory of his father Tommy. He also contributed funds to help Northwood High School to update the weight room.
Tim was recruited by Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and received a full scholarship. His first year at Miami he received the Outstanding Freshman of the Year Award. He went on to be the BIG tight end on the undefeated 1973 team that won the MAC crown; defeated Florida in the Tangerine Bowl; and had the Redskins ranked No. 12 in the country – a record high for a MAC team at the time. Tim was the recipient of Miami’s prestigious Cradle of Coaches award that year along with all-conference honors. At Miami, Tim was coached by Bill Mallory, who along with his wife, Miss Ellie, both had a strong influence on Tim throughout his entire life.
After three seasons at Miami he signed with the Memphis Southmen of the former World Football League where he was coached by John McVay Sr. As Tim would tell the story “he had a cup of coffee in the World Football League” as early on with the Southmen Tim had a severe leg break during practice which ended his football prospects. Tim then returned to Miami, where he earned his degree in physical education. He went on to teach and coach briefly at Perrysburg Junior High School and then spent two years at Gibsonburg High School, where as head coach, assisted by Joel Pinkerton, the team compiled a 14-6 record.
Switching careers, Tim became a salesman for WOHO radio in Toledo before establishing the Big Apple Deli in 1982. His naturally jovial, energetic, and can-do personality doubtless had much to do with the success of the deli. “He was a great man, a man of his word,” said Bonnie. “He never met a stranger.” He wore his gap-toothed smile as a personality trademark, as he once told a dentist who wanted to correct it, “Why, then nobody would recognize me.” The deli continues to be a popular dining and catering business. Tim and Bonnie turned over the operation of the Big Apple to Matt Acton, their son-in-law in a “passing of the slicer” family ceremony.
Tim was a generous supporter of the local community where he donated his time and talents to many charity events. Tim was a past recipient of the Prism Award from the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce.
Tim followed in the outdoor-loving footsteps of his father, Tommy, who owned properties in the Dakotas. Tim and his father would spend many hunting seasons together forming friendships across the country. They enjoyed hunting ducks, pheasants, and deer among other game. Tim went on to hunt bear in Alaska, elk in Colorado, deer in Iowa, waterfowl in Louisiana and Saskatchewan and British Columbia, and feral hogs in Michigan and Florida. And more recently, the outdoorsman lifestyle has been passed to his as grandson Nolan who joined Tim and Bonnie in the Dakotas to share the family tradition. He was an experienced hunter who was always at home in the wilderness. “I once watched him sneak up on a sleeping deer and hit it in the head with a snowball,” said Bonnie.
While hunting Tim would almost always have one of his cherished Chessies – Chesapeake Bay retrievers. He would name the dogs for his favorite music artists or songs. Over the years there were many such as; Daltrey, Elvis, Lacey, Angus, Bocephus, Matea, Brooks & Dunn, Reba, Waylon, Lola, and more.
He was a life member of Ducks Unlimited, who served on local fundraising banquet committees. He was also a life member of Pheasants Forever and the NRA. One particular accomplishment he was proud of as conservationist was the time he had the honor to address the national DU convention in San Antonio. Always the attention getter, Tim used his showmanship to get this national audience’s attention by tearing a telephone book in half. In the early 1990s, Tim received Ducks Unlimited Man of the Year Award and was more recently honored as 2016 Conservation Man of the Year by the Maumee Ducks Unlimited Chapter. Though hunting was his favorite outdoor activity, Tim enjoyed fishing and golf. He had an athlete’s hand-eye coordination and excelled whether swinging a shotgun on a clay target or a golf club.
Tim met the love of his life, Bonnie, in 1985, the couple were married in 2007. “He surprised me by proposing in Las Vegas,” The Big Guy and Ole What’s Her Name enjoyed a rich and active life together during Tim’s remaining years. Bonnie said. “Tim was a wonderful father to my children.” He set a great example by always living his life true to the family motto, ‘The hardest thing to do is the right thing to do’. Tim always strove to do the right thing. Bonnie continued, “Tim was the best thing that ever happened to me and I told him he had to tell me the same thing, and he did.”
Tim was born Feb. 15, 1952, in Toledo to the late Tommy and Orma Williams. He was preceded in death by his aunts Helen Farmer and Margie Le Tiecq; cousins Jerry Farmer and Suzanne (Reitzel) Facer; and special friends, Tom & Michelle Shirek, Cheryl Freed of North Dakota; and hunting companion Harley Olson of Colorado.
In addition to his wife, Bonnie,Tim is survived by his son, Spencer Boose, of Warren, Mich.; daughter Billie (Matt) Acton, of Temperance, Mich., and grandchildren Nolan and twins Luke and Allie; sister Linda (Frank) Mortimer, of Spokane, Wash.; nephew Mike (Julie) and their children Nick, Savannah, and Dylan; nephew James (Jen), and their son Logan. Along with many loving cousins from the Pemberville area. Tim had a special connection with the “Farmers”; and his Uncle Mike (Sue) and their family from the Brighton, MI area.
“Tim was the hub of many friendships” Bonnie summed up. Bonnie would like to thank the Miami Redskin and North Dakota families as well as the many other friends and family who have supported us while we were “fighting the fight”. Special thanks to Rocko, Nebs, Little Ron, Dweeb, Kathy, and Judy for your love and support.
We would be remiss not to mention the outstanding care that Tim received from Dr. Mark Nadaud, Dr. R.C. Phinney, and Dr. Kara Hertzfeld and their staffs.
Visitation will be held at Eggleston Meinert & Pavley Funeral Home, Millbury Chapel, 1111 Woodville Road, Millbury, Ohio on Saturday. April 14 from 2-8 pm and where funeral service is will be conducted on Sunday at 10:30 am. Interment will follow at Lake Township Cemetery. Immediately following graveside services there will be a luncheon held at Oak Shade Grove, 3624 Seaman Rd, Oregon, OH 43616 with sharing stories of Tim beginning at 2:00 pm. Those wishing to make memorial tributes, please consider the athletic department at Northwood High School or the charity of your choice. An additional memorial service will be held for Tim in North Dakota in the Fall of 2018.