Margaret “Peg” Williams

November 29, 1940 ~ April 2, 2022 (age 81)


Margaret “Peg” Williams, 81 of North Salem, Indiana, peacefully passed away on April 2, 2022, with her loving family by her side.  

Margaret “Peg” Williams was preceded in death by her parents Maynard “Ding” and Helen Smith Burnsworth, and her three brothers: John Michael “Mike” Smith, Paul  Dennis “Denny” Smith, and Phillip Grant Smith, along with her two infants: son Gregory James Williams, daughter Stephanie Jane Williams. 

Born November 29, 1940, at home in North Salem, Indiana, she was the daughter of Maynard “Ding” and Helen Smith. 

Margaret represented her 1958 North Salem High School senior class as their Vice President where she also accomplished Band 8 years, 4-H 6 years, Girls’ State, and Drum Majorette. 

Margaret grew up on a farm on Ladoga Road in North Salem. She had an affinity for all living creatures. She fixed up the attic in the barn with used furniture and first aid kits for any animals that had fell victim to her brother’s B.B. guns. This affinity for animals became a part of her throughout her lifetime. 

After graduation, Peg attended Herron School of Art and Design and later went on to win several art awards. She taught herself to weave baskets from wood growing on the farm, designed her own home, volunteered to paint and do advertising in her community. 

Peg was one of the first women (along with her good friend Sonnie Johnston) to join the Eel River Fire Department.  Peg was a First-Class Firefighter with the State of Indiana. She also became an Emergency Medical Technician and served her local community for several years. 

Her love of animals never waned, and she became Licensed by the State of Indiana Department of Natural Resources as a Wildlife Rehabilitator. She rehabbed everything from deer to raccoons. She also rehabbed several large raptors. 

A few years after they were married, Peg and Jim started a farm at their home in North Salem. Like everything else, she excelled at anything she attempted. Peg learned to drive all the large farm equipment, did the bookkeeping for the entire operation, and had her own farm ground that she would manage herself. When times were tough, they raised hay and sold it to many farming facilities and the Indianapolis Zoo. Peg had a way of knowing the perfect time to put up hay. Peg and Jim, along with their three children, worked together to make Williams Farms what it is today.  

Peg’s father “Ding” had horses throughout the years.  He brought home a gaited horse named Big Red. Big Red was beautiful but she wanted a horse of her own. She got a quarter horse named Ace. Ace was not trained to the saddle and had never been ridden. As a young girl Peg broke him by herself in a stall in the barn until he was trained to ride. They became a pair and in a recent conversation with Aunt Kathy she admitted that “Ace was probably my favorite horse”. A young girl and her horse, her friend, and her confidant. Peg fed, washed, and brushed Ace. She kept his stall clean. She rode him often and one of her favorite places to “escape to” was a place called Adam’s Woods. 

Being a high achiever, Peg started taking English riding lessons when she was close to 60 years old. She then passed this passion on to her granddaughters. Understanding just what Peg needed, Jim built a riding arena and stalls so her passion could continue. She and the granddaughters and the entire family traveled around competing in horse shows from 4H to World Championships across several states. Some of her biggest thrills were traveling to South Africa in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015 to cheer her granddaughters on in Invitational Teams and USEF Saddle Seat World Cup Teams. 

Peg would jump on her horse any time she had to face a surgery or hardship in her life, they brought her such peace and comfort. The last time she was able to ride was in August 2021 at 80 years old. 

She is survived by her Husband of 60 years, James Williams and her sister, Kathy Freimanis. James and Margaret had three children: her daughter Michelle (Van) Lawson and her two sons, Kenneth Williams, and David Williams. They were blessed with six grandchildren: Sarah (Jimmy) Barclay, Alexandra Lawson, Hattie Lawson, Austin Williams, Corbin Williams, and Madison Williams and two great grandchildren: Grayson James Barclay and Benson Isaac Barclay. 

Friends and family will gather on Sunday, April 10, 2022, at Eric M.D. Bell Funeral Home in Pittsboro, Indiana, from 2 pm to 5 pm.  Funeral services will be held the following day, April 11, 2022, at 10 am at the funeral home. Burial will follow in Fairview Cemetery, North Salem. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the North Salem Fire Department.  

Arrangements have been entrusted to Eric M.D. Bell Funeral Home and Cremation Services.  All are encouraged to share thoughts, prayers, and memories with Margaret's family on her memorial page found on the funeral home's website, .


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Margaret “Peg” Williams, please visit our floral store.


April 10, 2022

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Eric MD Bell Funeral Home and Cremation Services

Funeral Service
April 11, 2022

10:00 AM
Eric MD Bell Funeral Home and Cremation Services


North Salem Fire Department
607 W. Pearl Street, North Salem IN 46165
Tel: 1-765-676-6425

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