Home Life OBITUARY: Ernest Council Williams, MD

OBITUARY: Ernest Council Williams, MD

January 19, 2018. GAINESVILLE, GA — Ernest Council Williams, MD, beloved father and respected surgeon passed away at Lanier Village Estates in Gainesville, Georgia on January 3, 2018.

Williams was born in Blowing Rock, NC to Cameron Williams and Eunice Holshouser Williams.  He was a member of Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church in Blowing Rock and later a member of First Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, NC.

As a young boy he realized that hard work would pay off. Among other jobs he carried milk cans from Blowing Rock down the Globe Road to have filled with milk for his family.

His education began in his home town where he graduated from Blowing Rock High School. In the summers he assisted Dr. Mary Warfield; she was the only doctor in Blowing Rock for many years.  Dr. Williams’ love of medicine led him to Erskine College in Due West, SC attending on a tennis scholarship.  His studying was interrupted during WWII so he could serve his country in the United States Navy for two years.  Returning to the U.S. he completed his undergraduate studies in 1947 at Erskine on the GI Bill for Veterans.  He was accepted to Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA where he was a member of Phi Chi medical fraternity founded in 1889.

As a medical student, he studied under Dr. Alton Ochsner who was a pioneer of anti-smoking. He was notorious for his intense verbal cross-examination of his students in the Charity Hospital amphitheater known as the “bull pen”; believing the psychologically, taxing ordeal programmed students to perform well under stress. He worked as an intern at Dr. Ochsner’s Clinic which became known as the Ochsner Foundation Hospital now known as Ochsner Medical Center.

Dr. Williams’ five year internship and surgical residency was completed at University Hospital in Augusta, GA.  At that time, it was part of the Medical College of Georgia.  The salary then was $100 per month.

Dr. Williams began his medical practice in Gastonia, NC in 1956 and practiced until he retired in 1985.  He was admitted to the American College of Surgeons in 1963.  He was a medical representative to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was a football team doctor for both Ashley High School and Ashbrook High School.  He was President of the Gaston Medical Society in 1976.  For a short period of time he taught a course at the Gaston Memorial School of Nursing; and also coached the student nurses’ basketball team. He was known by staff and patients to pray before doing any surgery and was highly respected by his patients.

Dr. Williams is survived by two sons, Ernest Council Williams (Cathy) of Atlanta, GA and Etson Cameron Williams of Dahlonega, GA, two daughters, Cheryl Williams Dolan of Hilton Head, SC and Samantha (“Sam”) Williams of Tryon, NC, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, two nieces, one nephew, several cousins and the mother of his children, Joyce Williams Martin.  In addition to his mother and father and grandson, Brad Williams, he is predeceased by his two brothers, James Holshouser Williams and Charles Edwin (Bill) Williams, one sister, Mary Louise Turner and cousin, Jim Holshouser, former Governor of North Carolina.

The family wishes to express their deepest thanks to all the staff at Lanier Village and especially at WillowBrook and to Beth, Cindy, Jenny, and all the others who represent Pruitt Health Hospice for their compassionate care.   In memory of Dr. Williams, memorial contributions may be made to either Pruitt Health Hospice, 700 S. Enota Dr. NE, Suite 202, Gainesville, GA 30501; to Fellowship of Christian Athletes, PO Box 550714, Gastonia, NC 28055; or to any other organization of the donor’s choosing.

Condolence messages may be sent online to Richard Evans, Lanier Village chaplain at revans@actslife.org.

A memorial service will be held at 2 PM on Saturday, January 20, 2018 in the Chapel at Lanier Village Estates in Gainesville, GA.  In addition, a celebration of Dr. Williams’ life will be held at Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church in Blowing Rock, NC on Saturday June 16th at 2:00 PM.

“But I will keep pure and holy both my life and my art”.  Hippocratic Oath

Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to Thee, how great thou art, how great thou art!

Online condolences can be made at www.memorialparkfuneralhomes.com. Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel, 989 Riverside Drive, Gainesville, Georgia 30501. 770-297-6200.


  1. Deepest sympathy for the immediate family of Ernie. He was a beloved member of our extended Holshouser Family and he will be missed for certain. We will cherish our memories of times with him. May God comfort friends and family.

  2. I’m embarrassed that I did not even know of Ernest’s passing until today! We have not been able to make it to the Holshouser Reunion in a couple of years, but Ernest has been a faithful attendee for many years. Miss seeing him and the rest of the Holshouser family. Trying to determine if we can attend in Blowing Rock.


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