Anna Williams

     Anna Christy Crosswell Williams was born on Nov. 14, 1955, in Morehead City and died on Jan. 12, 2022, at her home in Swansboro.

     Christy is survived by husband Jimmy Williams of Swansboro; daughter Sarah G. Diehl, husband Michael, of Swansboro; son Sharpe Williams of Swansboro; mother Sarah Crosswell of Beaufort; father and stepmother Jack and Daphne Crosswell of Cripple Creek, Va.; and brother Jamie Crosswell of Morehead City. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law and many nieces and nephews, including Joseph Crosswell of Morehead City.

     She was the owner and founder of Swansboro Dance Studio and Emerald Isle Dance Studio and in her nearly 40 years of instruction and guidance worked with thousands of girls, several of whom have gone on to teach or perform. Her love of people and of the performing arts guided her in business. In recognition the Swansboro Board of Commissioners awarded her the 2021 Samuel Swann Bland Outstanding Community Service Award. It is the highest honor bestowed by the town. In 2019 she and Jimmy were named Parade Grand Marshals of the Swansboro Mullet Festival of North Carolina.

     Christy was raised in Raleigh, Williamston, Winston-Salem and Beaufort. She graduated from East Carteret High School in Beaufort and East Carolina University in Greenville. She was an adult learning coordinator at Edgecombe Technical College in Tarboro when she met Jimmy. They married in 1979. They moved to Emerald Isle, later to Swansboro, to run the Tideland News of Swansboro in 1981. Christy left the paper in 1982 to open Swansboro Dance Studio. She added Emerald Isle Dance Studio in 2011.

     She was known for her boundless energy as a mother, business owner, and volunteer in her church and her community. Many called her “best friend,” in large part because of her ability to stay in the moment with each and kindly dispense good advice to those who sought it.

     If you choose to make a donation to a charity in Christy’s name, please consider GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer at or the N.C. Coastal Federation Capital Campaign at

     Special thanks to Lower Cape Fear Life Care for its role in providing excellent care for Christy during hospice.

     The family will honor her memory with a private service. A memorial open to all will take place later.

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