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Co-workers celebrate life of woman who died in Walmart shooting

Angela Williams’ smile started the day for patients at Villa Springfield for two years and on Friday those patients, co-workers, friends and family members gathered to celebrate her life.

“She had a laugh you heard throughout the building,” said Williams’ friend and coworker Jane Adams.

Williams, 37, of Fairborn, suffered a medical emergency while running in a busy Beavercreek Walmart during an officer-involved shooting there Aug. 5 and died a short time later at Beavercreek’s Soin Medical Center. Autopsy results won’t be available on Williams for several weeks, according to the coroner’s office.

John Crawford III, 22, of Fairfield, was fatally shot at the store after police said he didn’t drop an air rifle when instructed to do so by Beavercreek officers. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine will convene a special Greene County grand jury Sept. 3 to review the incident.

Williams’ co-workers said she was going to get married Aug. 9.

Adams started at the health and rehabilitation center in Springfield about the same time as Williams two years ago.

Williams started as a floor nurse and was promoted to oversee staff development.

“Angie touched all the employees. Being staff development, she did all the hiring and the training. She knew everybody,” coworker Michele Hemphill said.

Her smile and work ethic were contagious, Adams said, and former patients came in to give their regards when they learned the news of her death. Many of them recalled her smile.

When she wasn’t laughing or smiling, Adams said Williams often could be found singing to patients or staff members.

“She was always bubbly … She always motivated you to be a better nurse,” Adams said.

About 50 people attended the ceremony for Williams on Friday at Villa Springfield.

Two employees from Jackson Lytle & Lewis Life Celebration Center dedicated a bench and tree in memory of Williams. The tree is meant to symbolize the cyclical nature of life and the bench was built by Villa Springfield’s maintenance supervisor.

Those two items will be placed outside in the back of the nursing home in the employee lounge area, where Williams always wanted seating, Hemphill said.

The attendees also honored Williams by releasing balloons in her memory. Her family attended the ceremony, but declined an interview request.

“We wanted it to be a celebration of who Angie is,” Hemphill said. “I feel like for people who attended, who didn’t even know Angie, they got a good glimpse of the kind of person she was and the kind of heart she had.”

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