CHICAGO — Leroy Williams once shoveled snow from his home in the North Lawndale neighborhood for miles south, ending up at what used to be Michael Reese Hospital, his cousin, Yvonne Weathers said.
Head trauma suffered in a fight as a teenager left Williams, 53, with loss of memory and other cognitive functions, which the family said led him to do unexplainable things such as shovel snow for miles.
“We were looking for him for two, three days,” Weathers said, laughing.
The man they called “Whispers” because of his hushed voice, loved his regular snack of “hot coffee and a sweet roll." He played dominoes and cards around the neighborhood and worked odd jobs doing maintenance.
Though many of his relatives live on the South Side, Williams grew up on the West Side with Weathers and her family. The fight that resulted in head trauma led him to move to the West Side, Weathers said.
He was known throughout the neighborhood, unmistakable with the Afro he had styled for decades.
He had been staying with his cousin just blocks from the house he’d grown up in and was helping her take care of her six kids. On March 29, a fight between Williams and his cousin’s girlfriend, Terra Pouncy, broke out.
Weathers said the two were fighting about a “99-cent baby bottle.” Williams had apparently washed the measuring numbers off and Pouncy became irate.
Pouncy, of Rockford, allegedly stabbed Williams in the neck at his home in the 1300 block of South Kildare Avenue, according to court records and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
“He didn’t bother nobody,” a teary Weathers, 62, said of Williams. “He minded his own business.”