Community gathers to remember Mothers of Murdered Offspring co-founder

Judy Howard Williams, MOM-O co-founder, died last Saturday after battling lung cancer. She was 69.
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Family, friends and community members gathered at Marshall Park Friday for a candlelight vigil to celebrate the life of Judy Howard Williams, co-founder of Mothers of Murdered Offspring.

She died Saturday after battling lung cancer. She was 69.

Williams co-founded MOM-O in 1993 after the murder of her goddaughter, Shawna Hawk, who was raped, sodomized and strangled to death by a serial killer. Along with her son, David Howard, and Hawk’s mother, Dee Sumpter, Williams created MOM-O as a support group. Later, the group began organizing candlelight vigils for homicide victims and their families.

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David Howard said he was overwhelmed from the community support since the passing of his mother. Photo: QCity Metro

[Related: Fatal shooting in uptown Charlotte is city’s latest homicide]

Lisa Crawford, administrator for MOM-O, says that Williams’ exposure to second-hand smoke at the vigils over the years led to her cancer. Crawford said smoking is no longer allowed at the organization’s vigils.

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Double bricks will be installed in Williams’ honor at Our Children’s Memorial Walkway and garden at Frazier Park.

Her funeral is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. at Steele Creek Church.

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