Alma Jo WilliamsAlma Jo Williams of Interlaken passed away at Cayuga Medical Center on Thursday, August 5, 2010, at the age of 74.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri on December 15, 1935, Alma was the daughter of Lloyd and Philomena (Sofio) Menestrena. Growing up in Eastchester, NY, she began what was to become a life-long passion for reading. Her genre spanned from comic books to classic novels and included many works in between. Alma also enjoyed the Girl Scouts, gladly dedicating time as a camp counselor and lifeguard. 

Following high school graduation, Alma attended the University of Pennsylvania where she received a Bachelor’s degree in science. Shortly thereafter she married Thomas H. Williams and moved back to New York State. While caring for their 2 daughters, Alma focused on the fulfillment of another dream – raising horses.  With children in tow, Alma took great pride and pleasure in entering her horses in the New York State Fair.

 With a yearning in her heart to improve the health of animals, Alma earned a Master’s degree in Animal Nutrition from Cornell University and immediately accepted a position at Cornell. Most of her 39 ½ year career was at Vet Virus-now known as James A. Baker Institute. The Institute was her second home where co-workers soon became an extended family.  Ithaca was the perfect place for Alma as it offered  access to the Friends of the Library book sale and it enabled her to reach the goal of attaining a black belt from Washin-Ryu dojo, Ithaca and Vestal locations.  Alma shared her love of the martial arts by volunteering at Tompkins County Day treatment for many years.  She attended local martial arts competitions as a competitor and as time went on, as a spectator.  Equal to her deep love of books was the desire to write. In 1991, one of her short stories was published in “Mysteries from the Finger Lakes vol 2.  Her inquisitiveness and passion for debate will be missed dearly by all her family and friends.

In addition to her parents, Alma Jo was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas in 1995. She is survived by two daughters, Yvonne Williams of Interlaken and Colleen (James Armknecht) Williams of Nebraska; one granddaughter, Alma Louise Wellensiek of Nebraska; one sister, Rochelle (Robert) O’Hagan of Georgia and four nieces and their families.

In keeping with Alma Jo’s wishes, no services will be scheduled.

Contributions in Alma Jo’s memory may be directed to the charity of the donor’s preference.