MALVERN, Ark. – The Malvern School District family is mourning the loss of their longtime band director, 60-year-old Kenneth Williams. 

Mr. Williams was hit and killed by a car Tuesday afternoon on interstate-30 near mile marker 86 in Hot Springs county. 

The Malvern school district tells us that Williams was heading back to Malvern from a regional band directors meeting in Arkadelphia when he stopped to assist the victims involved in a separate accident.

Jon Stevenson, Malvern Assistant Band Director says his mentor, leader and friend, Mr. William was “always willing to help someone no matter what.”

Tragically, Williams left this earth by doing just that, helping others.

Another man was injured in this accident. No one is being charged.

The director’s podium and office at Malvern High School were left empty as the sound of music softly filled the band room

Kaitlyn McGuire, senior band member says it felt like “Mr. Williams was invincible.”

No on in the Malvern family could believe it when they found out the long-time band director had died.

For senior Caleb Cogburn, the pain hit differently. He says he had just buried a close friend. His friend is a former Malvern High School Student. 

“I was just getting over his passing and now with this. It’s just really hard.”

It’s hard for everyone, including the ISS Teacher, Jamari McCollum who had a special connection with Williams. 

“I had the opportunity of being a student and a co-worker,” said McCollum who was in the band from 5th to 9th grade. 

McCollum says, “if you don’t have a passion for music, it’s like he [Williams] could instill it in you.”

He says this went for everyone, no matter what grade you were in.

Senior band member, Marissa Lafayette says Mr. Williams “”was like a father figure to most of us.”

Williams spent 32-years as the Malvern Band director and every day he brought energy and passion, which students kept note of.

Senior band member, Kaitlyn McGuire to see someone “so passionate about one thing, it makes you wonder what could I be so passionate about.”

Now, many students are passionate about keeping Mr. Willams’ legacy alive

No matter how long the school is here, I think that Mr. Williams’ presents will always be here. Whether it’s 30 years in the future, he is still going to be here with you,” said senior band member, Emily Brewster. 

The visitation for Mr. Ken Williams will be held this Saturday, April 30th at Regency Funeral Home in Malvern from 6 to 8 pm.

His funeral will be held Sunday, May 1st at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Malvern starting at 2:30 pm.