Dan Williams, state representative and former Athens mayor, dies

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ATHENS, Ala. - We have sad news to share with you.  Rep. Dan Williams, also a former Athens mayor and city council member, died Wednesday morning.

In February, he announced on his Facebook page that he had been diagnosed with leukemia.

Rep. Williams was first elected to serve District 5 in the Alabama House of Representatives in November 2010.  He worked on the County and Municipal Government Committee, as well as vice chair for the Ethics and Campaign Finance Committee.

On the committee, he worked with Rep. Mike Ball who spoke fondly on Williams, calling him 'a good man.'

"Unfortunately we were expecting it, he had been in the hospice for a while," said Ball. He also points out that the legislature worked to make sure Williams was not burdened with his governmental duties during his illness.

"We were hoping he would recover, but the rest of the folks in his delegation in Limestone County, as well as the the rest of us, we would look over legislation he needed for his area," he explained. "We pitched in and helped out."

Prior to his election to the state house, Williams served the City of Athens for many years, first as a board of education member from 1979 to 1984, a city council member from 1984 to 1992, and then mayor from 1992 to 2010.

Williams graduated from Athens High School and Auburn University.  He was also a retired first sergeant with the Alabama Army National Guard’s 1343rd Engineer Battalion based in Athens.

WHNT News 19 offers our thoughts and prayers to the Williams family.

We will share funeral arrangements once they are set.

Ball said after a period of time, Governor Robert Bentley will likely order a special election, which will happen before next February, but not before the special session.