“Sister Hazel” Williams, Gainesville Band’s Namesake, Dies at 91

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Dr. Williams was 91. She remained a tireless advocate of the homeless and downtrodden in Gainesville.

Local band Sister Hazel named itself after her and eventually rose to national prominence with its 1997 hit “All For You.” Songfacts in 2008 interviewed lead singer Ken Block, who said this:

I was a little kid, and I remember saying, “Mom, that lady helps out people she doesn’t even know?” My mom said, “Yeah.” And I thought that was very cool. And kind of in that spirit of unconditional regard for people. She happens to be an old female black minister, but she doesn’t care what religion, what race, what orientation, if you’re a prostitute or a drug addict or anything, she’ll give you a safe, warm place to dust off, regroup, and get back on your feet. And we always thought that’s what unconditional regard for your fellow man is all about. … We still send her a little bit of money every month and we try to help her out and call attention to her cause as well as we can.


People began honoring her life on social media over the weekend.

We’ll soon share more about her life from those who knew her.

About Nestor Montoya

Nestor is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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