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Family Tries to Cope With Murder

By Chloe Riley | January 8, 2013 12:59am

GRAND BOULEVARD — Corethea Bryant said she has an understanding with her daughter. She doesn’t talk about Henrieta’s father in front of her because it upsets the eight year old too much.

Bryant said her daughter has had frequent nightmares since her father, Henry Williams Jr., died on June 12.

“She was okay until the funeral because he didn’t look like his self and even though the coffin was only open for the first hour, she had to see that,” Bryant  said.

Early on that June day, Williams, 38, was shot and killed in the 3900 block of South Federal Street, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Williams, who for the last 10 years traveled between Chicago and Wisconsin, was in Chicago visiting. He spent most of his time in Wisconsin with his wife, Bryant, and their daughter.

Williams had been going back to the city about once every two weeks because he was on probation for a 2009 conviction of possession of a controlled substance and had to make appearances, according to Cook County court records and Bryant.

“He wasn’t working at the time because he was ashamed,” said Bryant, of Kaukauna, Wisc. “He didn’t want to get a job and then have to explain to the job that he would have to leave to go to court.”

Bryant said her husband was a homebody.

“You gotta know how Wisconsin is to get the picture: It’s boring here,” she said.  “When he came through Chicago, that’s when he’d see his friends and family.”

Of her husband, she said, “Henry was Henry. He was stubborn. He could be mean sometimes, you know, but when he was nice, he was super nice. Anybody who knows him knows that’s just him.”

Though he had children with other women, Bryant said Williams was present throughout her daughter’s life, doing “dad stuff” like attending father-daughter dances.

“He was a good dad, sometimes. I think he was better with my daughter because he was in her life all her life, “ she said. “A lot of his other kids, he didn’t get the chance to do that.”

To try to heal, Bryant and her daughter have attended counseling together. Bryant will often show Henrieta old pictures of her father in an attempt to erase the sad memory of his death.

“I try to explain to her, ‘This is a nice picture of daddy. This is daddy when he was happy. Remember him looking like this,’” she said.