Oaka Williams, a reserve end and placekicker on one of Tennessee’s most storied championship football teams, died Wednesday at his home in Bluefield, Va. He was 77.
The 1949 graduate of Bluefield High School earned All-State honors before attending West Virginia University and then Tennessee. He hailed from the same hometown and was a teammate of Bob Davis, a three-year starting center for the Vols who went on to a long coaching and administrative career in the UT Athletics Department.
The two Virginians were part of Tennessee’s 1951 consensus national championship team that went undefeated through the regular season and played in the Sugar Bowl.
After his playing days, Williams returned to his hometown and worked for both Reid Belt and Rubber Co., and Wysor Electric. He owned O.H. Williams Electric Co., and Big Oak Swimming Pool and Supply Sales.
He probably was most recognized for his guidance and affection for the youth of the surrounding area. Williams built Harmony Acres swimming pool in 1953 and operated it for 36 years. Since 1994, he was employed by the town of Bluefield maintaining the pool.
As a lay person, his knowledge of mechanics, electrical, swimming pools and building was widely sought by many residents and contractors. Williams was an active and supportive citizen of the Bluefield community and a member of the First Christian Church of Bluefield, W.Va.
Williams is survived by his wife of 56 years, Gail, and children Gary (son) and Tammy of Bluefield, Va., and Valerie (daughter) of Bluefield, Va. He had six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Information was gathered from last Saturday’s edition of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.
Select UT football game tickets now available online
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Individual tickets for four Tennessee home football games—UAB (Sept. 13), Northern Illinois (Oct. 4), Wyoming (Nov. 8) and Kentucky (Nov. 29)—were made available early this week for fans to purchase online at UTSports.com.
Tickets for Northern Illinois and Wyoming are $40 each plus shipping and handling. Tickets for UAB and Kentucky are $50 each plus shipping and handling.
“Every year we receive tickets back from some of our visiting opponent allotments,” said Mike Hamilton, men’s athletics director. “We hope that by making these tickets available in the summer, our fans will have more opportunities to make their football plans.”
The athletics department does not expect any visitor returns from Florida, Mississippi State or Alabama. But should those become available, any remaining single tickets can be purchased either online, via phone at (800) 332-VOLS and at the Thompson-Boling Arena ticket office beginning July 21.