Elton O. Williams saved Zilda M. Falterman and Mary E. Naquin from drowning, Baldwin, Louisana, May 17, 1941. A canoe in which Zilda, 14; Mary, 13, and a boy were riding in Bayou Teche sank in water more than six feet deep 25 feet from the bank. Williams, 24, truck driver, who was fully clothed, swam 24 feet to the children. Zilda and Mary each took hold of the other and were submerged briefly. Zilda then threw her arms around Williams’s neck, and Mary got hold of Zilda around her neck. Williams tried to free himself but was submerged briefly. The boy then got hold of Williams, who tried to push him away, and the four were submerged. Williams’s feet sank in soft mud. He broke the boy’s hold, freed his feet, and knelt, his knees sinking a few inches into the mud. With effort he broke Zilda’s hold, and Mary released Zilda. Williams swam to the surface and was nauseated and weak. Zilda rose five feet from Williams, who swam to her and towed her 16 feet to the bank. He then swam 10 feet to Mary, who was unconscious, and towed her to the bank. She revived. Meanwhile the boy sank and was drowned. Williams was weak and somewhat nauseated. 39042-3240
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E. O. Williams, 78, of Port Arthur, Texas, died on Sept. 2, 1986, at Mid-Jefferson Hospital in Nederland, Texas. A funeral was held at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves, Texas, with a Masonic graveside service at Greenlawn Memorial Park.
A native of Alba, Texas, he lived in Port Arthur 46 years. He was a retired general superintendent for Coastal Construction Co., and an Army veteran.
(Edited from an obituary provided by a family member.)