Editor's note: An earlier version of this story omitted that Williams was also a member of the Marshall Community Chorus. Revised Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 12:52 p.m.
An era came to an abrupt end Monday, Dec. 17, for Malta Bend school students and staff.
Principal Roger Feagan opened the Malta Bend Board of Education meeting Monday night with the news that music teacher Michael Williams had died Monday at his home in Marshall.
Superintendent Melissa Vesser said administrators would be meeting with students Tuesday, Dec. 18, to share the news and help them deal with the loss of the popular teacher.
Williams was the music director at Malta Bend school for nine years before leaving the district in 2005 to teach at Slater.
He rejoined the Malta Bend faculty this fall after retiring from the Slater school district.
"He was the most enthusiastic person I've ever known," Vesser said.
When he approached the school board at its September meeting to offer his services again, he said he missed the district.
"I really hated leaving two years ago," he said at the time, noting it was no secret the reason for his departure was a lack of insurance benefits at Malta Bend. "I enjoyed Slater but I missed here. I love Malta Bend."
One board member asked how Williams' death would affect planned musical programs.
"I know what Mr. Williams would say," Vesser said. "He would say, 'The show must go on.'"
Williams was a mainstay on the Saline County music scene for many years.
He helped Mary Marshall and Margaret McCampbell direct summer school theater productions for Marshall schools.
He played with the Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra, the Marshall Municipal Band, the Marshall Municipal Chorus and various string quartets. He played clarinet, cello and bells.
The 1968 graduate of Marshall High School also sang and performed at a number of area churches.
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