Letitia 'Tish' Myers Williams, former Detroit News staffer, dies at 92

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Tish Myers Williams, a former Detroit News writer and editor, has died at age 92.

The Ohio native died Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, in Cincinnati, her family said.

She joined The News in the 1960s, first working in the women's and features departments, said her daughter-in-law, Elaine Shermetaro Myers, who also worked at the paper.

Williams was promoted to The News' Contact 10 column that aimed to help residents solve problems, Myers said.

Tish Myers Williams

“Tish was one of a very few women in the newsroom when I started in 1976,” said Editorial Page Editor Nolan Finley. “She was a tough, no nonsense editor. She didn’t back down or shrink in what must have been a tough environment.”

Williams became a food editor and assistant city editor before retiring in the 1990s.

Finley recalls her having "a razor sharp wit, and great stories. I always enjoyed working with her.”

Born Letitia Sharrits on Oct. 20, 1929, to Edward and LaNiece Sharrits, she was raised in Lima, Ohio, according to an obituary her family compiled.

She worked for her high school newspaper and told relatives she had a chance to interview former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Myers said.

A chance to write a story for the Lima News about her experience as a mother led to working there, starting in 1960, she said. "She was very strong-willed, very determined."

After relocating to Michigan with her family, Mrs. Williams later became an editor at the Birmingham Eccentric newspaper and won the Penney-Missouri Journalism Award, relatives said. 

After retiring, she and her husband, George Williams, relocated to Traverse City.

She was a freelance writer for the Traverse City Record-Eagle and published a cookbook, “Recipes and Remembrances.” The collection, for which she signed copies in Metro Detroit, included some 250 recipes.

In 1998, she and her husband moved to Ohio to be closer to relatives.

Mrs. Williams wrote for the Cincinnati Enquirer, volunteered at the library in Leland, Ohio, served on a board for a group focused on abused women, participated in a literacy program and volunteered at Bethesda North Hospital in Cincinnati, Myers said. "She wanted to help."

She also loved needlepoint and traveling, having visited Wales five times, Myers said. "She was proud of her Welsh heritage."

Other survivors include four children, Susan Tomkins, Chris Myers, Sally Brown and James Myers; 11 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren. 

She was predeceased by her husband and a sister, Barbara Sharrits Wetzel.

A celebration of life is planned at a later date.