Ernestine Gates Williams

  • Born: May 18, 1924
  • Died: November 21, 2021
  • Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Harry McKneely & Son Funeral Home

PO Box 2035
2000 N Morrison Blvd
Hammond, LA 70404
Tel. (985) 345-5801

Tribute & Message From The Family

Ernestine Gates Williams passed away on Sunday, November 21, 2021, in Fort Worth, Texas, at the age of 97. She was born on Sunday, May 18, 1924 in Ponchatoula, Louisiana to the late Ursulla Lavigne Gates and the late Desrie Gates. She was a resident of Fort Worth, Texas.

Ernestine is survived by her daughter, Carmen Bility, 73; son, Paul Henry Williams, III, 74; 6 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Henry Williams, Jr.; father, Desrie Gates; and mother, Ursulla Lavigne Gates.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend the visitation at Harry McKneely & Son Funeral Home Ponchatoula, 100 W. Magnolia Street, Ponchatoula, Louisiana 70454, on Saturday, November 27, 2021, beginning at 11:00 AM, until the funeral service begins at 1:00 PM.

Interment will follow in Ponchatoula Cemetery, Ponchatoula, Louisiana.

To view and sign the family guest book, please visit

Condolence & Memory Journal

Please accept my condolences on the loss of Mrs. Ernestine. I am one of your many cousins on the Lavigne side of the family. I am Cindy Heitman-Fletcher, daughter of William Ball Heitman, who was Ernestine's first cousin. My grandmother, Esther Lavigne Heitman, and Ursulla Lavigne Gates were sisters. I remember meeting Uncle Des as a child, and Grandma often spoke of Aunt Ursulla. I also knew since childhood Mrs. Ernestine's brother, Dotsy Gates, truly a well-remembered figure in Ponchatoula. He was such a sweet man, and a talented, self-taught artist and poet with a big heart. Dotsy was also good friends with my maternal grandfather, retired Ponchatoula Police Chief Ed Tucker. I attended Dotsy's memorial service at Wesley Chapel, but I do not recall if I met Ernestine. I think there was another brother, James Gates, whom I met once at Grandma's.
Theresa Williams, my first cousin Charles Duvic shared the photos with me that you gave him of Great-Aunt Ursulla and her husband Des. I appreciate them since I am very active in our genealogy.

Posted by Cindy Heitman-Fletcher - Baton Rouge, LA - Family   November 29, 2021

So sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you. My dad was good friends with the family.

Posted by Gordon Anderson - Hammond   November 26, 2021

My deepest sympathy .May she rest in eternal peace

Posted by Maureen Graham Graham - Brooklyn, NY   November 25, 2021

So sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you

Posted by Gordon Anderson - Hammond   November 23, 2021