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In Loving Memory of Michele Janine Williams


Michele Janine Williams

1961 – 2022

Michele passed away peacefully at 11:58 PM on December 21, 2022, holding her mother’s hand.

She was born in Seattle on January 31, 1961 and grew up in the central district. She participated in the voluntary bussing program and attended several North Seattle schools. Michele graduated from Nathan Hale where she played basketball, softball and ran track. She was the manager of the school’s radio station, KNHC FM, an honor student, and a National Merit commended student.

She then attended Washington State University. While at WSU she ran track, played field hockey, and fenced.

After graduation in 1983, Michele was hired by the Seattle Fire Department and started drill school in January 1984. She was one of the few women and one of three African American women working as fire fighters at that time. Most of her career was spent at Ladder 7, the technical rescue station, with the last few years spent at Station 6 in the Central District. After 34 years of service, she retired in March of 2018.

Michele was kind, thoughtful, and generous to a fault. She was also smart, clever, and witty, with the ability and confidence to master whatever she chose to do. She was a problem solver who would always come up with a practical solution and a perfectionist in the good sense of the word. You always knew that anything Michele was doing was going to be done right.

Michele was a strong and fiercely independent person. She would seldom ask for or accept help, but would gladly give assistance when needed. Always responsible and dependable, she could be counted on to take care of whatever needed attention, making sure everything was as it should be.

Being adventurous and athletic, Michele tried and excelled at multiple activities. She liked camping and being outdoors, working with her hands, building or repairing things were two of her favorite pastimes. She loved animals and growing up she was always bringing some stray or injured animal home, including a snake and a white rat. She also enjoyed taking care of her plants and the chickens in her “sideyard farms” chicken coop.

Michele made it her mission to make sure her mother had the best life possible. At 7 or 8 years old, she started calling herself her mother’s “favorite daughter”, an ongoing joke because she was an only child. Michele was so special she would have easily been the favorite, even if she had siblings.

She was predeceased by her grandparents Paul and Johnnie Johnson and Cleophis Robinson.

She is survived by her mother Elaine (Johnson) Williams and her uncle Paul Johnson, Jr.

Thank you to all those who sent cards, flowers and words of comfort and encouragement. A very special thank you to Michele’s friends. Their devotion to Michele and the support that came from that devotion are beyond description.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Michele’s name to an animal-based charity.

Services for Michele will be held on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at 1 PM at Nile Shrine Golf Course 6601 244th St. SW Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043

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