The world has lost a gentle giant.
Our HeartBrother Larry Williams passed away late last week. Larry, we love you. The world is a better place because you were in it. You will be missed.
Wake / Visitation
Friday, March 18 4:00-8:00 pm Tucker Quinn Funeral Chapel (643 Putnam Pike, Greenville, RI 02828)
Saturday, March 19 10:00 am Tucker Quinn Funeral Chapel (643 Putnam Pike, Greenville, RI 02828)
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the HeartBrothers Foundation.
Larry N. Williams, Jr., 68, passed away Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA. He was the beloved husband of Susan G. (Cretella) Sartini. Born in Brooklyn, NY, he was a son of the late Larry N. Williams, Sr. and the late Louise (Simm) Williams. Mr. Williams was a courier for FedEx for 17 years and then worked in customer service for AAA. He was a correctional officer for 3 years in the 1980s. He lived in N. Providence for many years before moving to Forestdale in 2015. He was a member of HeartBrothers Foundation, a board member of Compassionate Friends, and a panel member of Cytokinetics.
Larry began playing basketball at Eli Whitney High School. From there he went on to play at Roger Williams College, Compton Junior College, and ended his college career at Pratt Institute. Soon after Larry was invited to participate in the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Camp, where he was one of the last finalists to be cut. Larry then followed up with playing professionally in the Philippines and the Continental Basketball Association. In later years he coached and mentored school children.
Larry was an integral part of the HeartBrothers Foundation. He made it his mission to visit patients waiting in the hospital with heart transplant issues. According to the Foundation, he single-handedly visited more patients than the rest of the HeartBrothers combined. He also spent many hours daily talking to patients on the outside. His efforts will be missed.
Larry was a member of the Steering Committee of the Compassionate Friends Support Group for parents who have lost a child. He was also a member of the Steering Committee for its Remembrance Garden.In addition to his wife Susan, he was the father of Larry N. Williams, III, Luis Catala, John Wood, Bethany Cunningham, and the late Tyler A. Williams. He was the twin brother of Gary Williams, and brother of Andre Williams, Kevin Williams, Rita Nelson, Linda Hatchett, Doreen Williams, and the late David Williams and Tracy Williams. He is also survived by 6 grandchildren.
His funeral will be held Saturday, March 19, 2022, at 10 am in the TUCKER-QUINN Funeral Chapel, 643 Putnam Pike, Greenville. The burial will be private. Visitation will be held Friday, March 18, 2022, from 4-8 pm. In lieu of flowers donations made to The HeartBrothers (225 Cedar Hill St. Suite 200, Marlborough, MA 01752) or to Compassionate Friends Remembrance Garden of Greater Providence (10 Dail Drive, North Providence, RI 02911) will be appreciated.
In Larry’s Words…
It’s hard to put into words how much Larry meant to us. He was truly an amazing human. We feel the best way to share his positive spirit is with his own direct words. Back in 2017, as Larry was waiting for his heart transplant, we asked him a few questions. These were his answers…
In the hardest moments of your personal journey, what helped get you through? Hands-down, my wife, my lady. She’s my friend, my partner…she’s everything to me. What I’ve been through…she’s been more than a trooper. My guiding philosophy is: just think about the moment. That’s all we get in this life—just a moment. One moment you could talk to someone you love and the next, they could be gone. So, I tell my wife, I love her every time I see her; every time we speak. Above all, you have to stay positive, because if you don’t, this will eat you up. My friend—a retired Superintendent of the State Police—told me I’m the strongest person he knows. I’m proud of that.
Why did you join Team HeartBrothers?
They came to me in fall, 2016. I had read their brochure. Team Director Mike Ashworth came to my room to talk to me and asked me to become a HeartBrother. I said it would be an honor. They’re phenomenal. I love that they care to spend time with patients. My fellow HeartBrothers send me notes to keep the faith and stay strong. They share stories about how long they waited for their hearts. They visit or call me to see how I’m doing. I just stay strong because I know if I can stay strong for myself, I set an example for others.
As a HeartBrother, I talk to other patients about their lifestyles and what to expect when they go home. My goal is for them to understand they have to change things like their eating habits to achieve success. I tell them every experience is different. When they’re nervous or feeling down, I remind them to thank The Man Upstairs and to stay positive. I really enjoy helping my fellow patients get through.
If you could share any message with your fellow HeartBrothers, what would it be?
Give your heart and soul as much as you can, to any individual that needs it. There are many who will turn their backs on you, but they will come back to you. It’s not what you are, but what you represent.
Is there anything we didn’t ask that you’d like to share? I want to be one of the best HeartBrothers ever. I want to change patients’ minds for the better—help them improve their health, the way they eat… and remind them to never give up.