Carolyn Williams-Espinoza

carolyn  williams-espinoza

July 27, 1948 ~ May 29, 2020

Carolyn Williams-Espinoza was born on July 27, 1948, to the union of James and Dorothy Williams (nee Davis) in Peoria, Illinois. Carolyn was a wordsmith and avid book reader who received her early childhood education until eighth grade in Lufkin, Texas. She passed her General Educational Development test and graduated Cum Laude in December 2003 from Cardinal Stritch University with a Bachelor’s degree majoring in English, English: Writing, and Political Science. She was also inducted in the Delta Epsilon Sigma National Scholastic Honor Society on April 22, 2003. Carolyn moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1968 at the age of 19. Anthony (Tony) and Mildred Willis saw a beautiful soul and accepted her as their own. Their children informally adopted her as well. Judy Baity, Jacqueline Willis, Zenobia Willis, Eddie Willis, Marvin (Butch) Willis, Dale (Buster) Willis, Michael Willis, and Tommy Willis treated her as one of the family. Carolyn accepted Christ as her Savior at the age of 31. Most recently, she was an Elder at Walking In The Spirit Ministries, Inc. As a servant leader, she worked on the finance team, served as the Bookstore Director, and coordinated recordings of the services with local news and radio stations as the Television Ministries Director. She gave of her time and resources and was a blessing to so many. She had a giving spirit and even opened up her home to transient people who needed a place to stay. She was most recently employed as an Administrative Secretarial Assistant with the Milwaukee County District Attorney and worked until the very end. She took great pride in her work and her diligence and dedication set a standard that few can equal. In her leisure, she enjoyed reading, researching the Bible, debating the Word of God with her friend, Kaye Elaine Tucker, shopping, giving to those in need, talking with her family, and spending time with her church family. Carolyn was gently stubborn, had a joyful laugh, and lived her faith every single day. Carolyn Williams-Espinoza departed this life on May 29, 2020, after more than 10 years of battling end-stage renal disease. She was a fighter. She was determined. She was preceded in death by her great grandparents; grandparents; parents; sister, Laverne Stegall; bonus brothers, Eddie Willis, Tommy Willis, and Marvin (Butch) Willis; daughter, Alicia Cooper; and son, Loring R. Cooper II. Her legacy is strong. She leaves to cherish her memory her daughters, Crystal Eugenia Preston Brown, Eraina Lauren Cooper, and Adrienne N. Cooper; her sons, Eddie Lee Williams and Charles Edward Preston, Jr. (Robin); her sister, Helen Elaine Sowell; her grandchildren, Keondre Walton-Cooper, Kyler Heredia, Lawrence Carpenter, Quincy Richards, LaDashia Cannon, Joshua Jerrod Preston, Megan Ashley Preston, Shavoca Denise Jordan, Shannon Williams, and Avery Lee Williams; her great-grandchildren, Jasiah Carpenter, Faith McMillian-Green, Tenaya Jordan, Trevonn Jordan, Tyrell Jordan, Jeremiah Dean, Trinity Dean, Zara Hallberg, Melody Allgood, and Immanuel Amir Allgood; and a host of other cousins, nieces, great-nieces, nephews, great-nephews, family, friends, and those who fondly called her Mama Carolyn. To view Carolyn's Digital Obituary - please click here Donations can be made to the American Kidney Fund / National Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin in her honor.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline


  1. Elder Carolyn, you will be missed by your church and family for your hard work and dedication to the work of the ministry.
    Love and Respect
    Lenora Williams

  2. In Love, sympathy and celebration with Sister Carolyn and her family.

    – Priest & Monique Willis

  3. Her journey has ended but she left her footprint or I should say her heart print in this world so her DNA of Love carries on.

  4. Wow, Carolyn. She was a feisty little woman. We all know how she was with the supplies, I won’t mention the nick name we gave her for that (lol). My best memory with Carolyn was how she tried to fix every little piece of office equipment we had before she would spend a dime to replace it. I also have tried over the years to get her birthday date and work anniversary date so I could put her on our monthly board but she would not let me. When all this Covid-19 furloughs started, and she was still coming in, I yelled at her (which surprised me and her at the say time). But she said Minnie I have to keep going, till I can’t go no more. So I left it at that and just smiled. When I got the news about her passing, it shocked me so and an instant tear dropped from my face. It’s funny how you see someone one day and then they are gone. In my own funny way I will miss this lady. RIP Carolyn.


    Carolyn Williams-Espinoza was a dynamo. She was not an appeaser. She held her opinions and she was willing to share them. Her work-ethic was unsurpassed. She was the embodiment of the dictionary definition of “Dependable.” She passed away May 29, 2020.

    Her responsibilities in the office were numerous. Carolyn took receipt of office purchases, handled mailbox distribution of correspondence and ordered supplies, all while also serving as the Secretarial Assistant for the Failure To Support Unit. Her secretarial duties included taking the calls, mailing out criminal questionnaires, helping with statistics, file prep, mailing summons, taking care of in custody and out of custody cases, file finding, retrieving of documents and files from CSS and the civil clerk of courts. She made sure that the FTS unit had everything that was needed for the successful prosecution of failure to support cases.

    Carolyn was an extremely hard worker who valued quality over quantity of work. It didn’t bother her to have a lot of work to do; her focus was to make sure that everything was correct the first time and done in a timely manner. Carolyn believed in staying late or coming in early if she needed to complete something. She worked hard to keep things running smoothly.

    There were several different occasions when she had to scan files and email them to ADAs who needed to do trial prep on vacation. On one occasion, she had to scan four boxes of a file for an ADA.
    Carolyn was tenacious. She would not let anything keep or hold her down. She loved coming into work and being a part of the mission of the office and of the FTS unit.

    Below are other fond memories of Carolyn from co-workers and friends.

    “I’m going to miss Carolyn. She wasn’t afraid to ‘pester’ the print shop on our behalf. She made my job easier.”

    “Carolyn will be missed around the District Attorney’s office. I will especially miss our discussions on Historical Christian fiction. Historical romance was one of her favorites. Rest in Peace.”

    “Carolyn Williams-Espinoza was very dedicated in the work she did at the DA’s office. I will miss all the conversations we had when I was downtown.”

    “What I will miss most about Carolyn is our conversations. When we’d run into each other on the skywalk, often times I would ask her to sit with me for a few minutes. This was so she could rest and catch her breath. Then we’d have one of our many conversations. Sometimes she would say ‘I can’t sit, but I will catch up with you later.’ Over the years I looked forward to sitting and talking with her because she had good perspective on things and always kept the conversation real. She was a hard worker, even in sickness. I admired her strength and commitment. She was determined to care for herself until she no longer could in more recent months. I am thankful and blessed that I got to know such a beautiful, high spirited and down to earth person. I will miss her and our conversations. RIP Carolyn I will miss you.”

    “Hearing the news of Ms. Carolyn’s passing really hurt my heart. When we would see each other in the hallways I would say, Hey “Ms. Carloyn.” I remember Ms. Carolyn always carried a sandwich bag of candy for her diabetes. She would always offer me some strawberry candy that reminded me of a similar candy

    I hadn’t had since I was a little girl. I told her that I remember my mom buying me a similar candy that was in a foil wrapper. Ms. Carolyn found a candy store that only sold ol’skool candy and bought me a huge bag of the exact same candy I told her about in the foil wrapper and placed it on my desk before I came in to work. I called her in shock because I hadn’t seen this candy since I was about 10-11 years old. Her response to my many thanks, “Is that the candy that takes you back to when you were a little girl?” I will miss Ms. Carolyn!”

    “Carolyn was a spirited and enthusiastic member of this office. She was exacting and professional and expected the same level of commitment from those she worked with. She had many health as well as emotional challenges in her life but she never let them keep her down. She told me once that she went back to school to get qualifications to do the job she got in this office. That is probably why, in spite of all she went through, she refused to stop working at the job she truly loved. She will truly be missed.”

    “I will remember Carolyn as the person who kept me in check regarding taking too many post-its when I first joined the office. After a year or so, she took me aside and told me that I was meant for bigger and better things in the office and made sure to tell me every time she heard about a promotional opportunity. I always appreciated that she was keeping an eye (and ear) out for me. I remember asking her about why she didn’t retire and she simply said, “but this is what I do…I work.” I will miss her presence in the office, her lively spirit, her quick wit and am grateful to have known someone with such a strong work ethic. She truly loved being of service to this office and her team.”

  6. Adrienne, I never got to meet your mother but the way you spoke of her demonstrates the positive impact she had on your life. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Bill Wilson

  7. With loving memories of “Carolyn Williams-Espinoza”, You and your smile will be truly missed big sis. Rest peacefully in the lords arms.,

  8. Carolyn was a very nice person. She always had a smile for me when I saw her in the halls. She will be missed at the office. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. 🙂

  9. May the Lord and Savior grant peace and comfort to Carolyn’s family. She was truly the most unique and inspiring person around. Her witty sense of humor and her dedication to servitude was an inspiration to all who knew her. We shall see each other again! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  10. I worked with Carolyn for many years. Hers was a life committed to serving her Savior. She enjoyed telling and teaching about her faith. I pray that God grants her family favor, comfort and peace. Carolyn Humphreys

  11. I will truly miss Carolyn, she was truly an inspiration. It was great to work with her all of these years and to call her a friend. I will miss our many talks, especially of her life. She was a very proud woman and she made sure at the end of the day she had done all she could do and that it was done correctly. Carolyn loved God and loved being a servant. I know she is smiling down from heaven. To her family, cherish her memories always and know that she was proud of you all. I will continue to pray for the family that the Lord give you comfort and peace during this time.
    June Hunter

  12. My condolences to the family. I worked in the office next to her for the past 11 years.
    Eternal Rest Grant Onto to Her, Dear Lord., and My Perpetual Light Shine Upon Her.

  13. Carolyn will be missed around the District Attorney’s office. I will especially miss our discussions on Christian fiction. Historical romance was one of her favorites. Rest in Peace.
    Pat McGowan

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle