OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Friends and family members say former Ocean Springs fire chief Pat Williams is nearing the end of his long battle with cancer. He recently became very ill while visiting family in Las Vegas, and is hospitalized there now.
Those who love him are working to bring Williams back home for his final days.
"I think if there was anything he would want, it would be to be here, to be able to see the water one last time, see his family, drive past the fire department. He would want to be here," daughter-in-law Emilee Williams said.
Pat Williams was with the fire department for 28 years, serving the last two years of that time as chief. It was a job he loved. And he left his mark, both as a leader and as a friend.
"He was just a real likeable guy," fellow firefighter Tim Heath said, remembering his days working with Williams. "He could take care of business at city hall, he could take care of business at the fire department. He was real easy to work with, got along with everybody."
Fire Chief Jeff Ponson is another family friend.
"I had the privilege of working with, and then for Pat when he became chief. It was an honor and a privilege," Chief Ponson said. "He was a great boss to work for and a great person to work with."
He was also a great family man, and having him back home when the end comes would mean so much for his loved ones.
"He's a phenomenal man that has welcomed me into his family," Emilee Williams said. "My husband lives every day to be just like his father. He's his daughter's hero."
Because of his medical condition, Williams cannot fly commercial, and would have to take a medivac flight that costs about $20,000.
If you'd like to help the family out, an account has been set up in Williams' name at any branch of Hancock Bank.