Services Planned for Marine Who Drowned in Japan

BEARDSTOWN -- The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1239 in Beardstown is encouraging people to show support Saturday for the family of a U.S. Marine from Ashland who died Oct. 29.

Aubrey D. Williams, a 2005 graduate of A-C Central High School, died while stationed in Okinawa, Japan, in an apparent drowning accident. He was 29.

David Ballance, chaplain for the VFW post, said people should gather by 11 a.m. along Fourth Street or around the town square in Beardstown.

The VFW Post is asking people to hold American flags or place their hand over their heart.

"We want to show our support for the family and support for our Marines and armed services," Ballance said.

The procession immediately follows a funeral service at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. John's Lutheran Church, 214 E. Sixth St. Military honors will be performed by the U.S. Marine Corps.

A visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the church. Memorial donations can be made to: Sgt. Aubrey Williams Family, West Central Bank, 122 State St., Beardstown, 62618.

Williams joined the Marines in 2008, where he obtained the rank of sergeant, served on the search-and-rescue team and was a member of the UH-1 Helicopter Crew, according to his obituary.

He was married to Miranda Coil in 2008 and leaves behind three children.

After graduating from A-C Central, Williams graduated from Universal Technical Institute in 2007 and worked for Discount Tire in Springfield.

He was a thrill-seeker who enjoyed downhill mountain biking, BMX racing, skateboarding, rollerblading, gasoline-propelled remote-controlled cars, video games and sport and target shooting, his obituary says.

Sager Funeral Home in Beardstown is in charge of the arrangements.

-- Contact Jason Nevel: 788-1521, jason . nevel @sj-r.com, twitter.com/JasonNevelSJR.

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