The smiling face Sands Ocean Club guests are used to looking for when they arrive will no longer be there, but the outpouring of condolences made it clear the impact Carlos Williams has had on so many.
Williams, 49, died suddenly on Saturday after more than a decade working as a bell captain at the Myrtle Beach resort, which also includes Ocean Annie’s.
Family, friends and colleagues describe Williams as a man who “never met a stranger”, taking the time to get to know every guest and condo owner personally and remembering every detail no matter how long it took between the meetings.
Elanda Manigault, the resort’s front desk manager, said there are times during the busy part of summer when the check-in line backs up despite there being available bellmen, as everyone would want to wait to be helped by Carlos.
“They didn’t mind waiting 30 to 40 minutes just so he could take them (to their rooms),” she said. “It’s the first thing they ask as soon as they walk through the doors, ‘Where’s Carlos?'”
Nora Middleton, Carlos’ sister, said her brother was constantly getting calls and text messages from out-of-town guests on the way to the club to make sure he would be there when he arrived.
Eddie Williams, the station’s longtime general manager, called Carlos “the epitome of hospitality,” an industry where first impressions are key.
“There’s an old adage that a person doesn’t make an organization, but there will be a rift in the armor after he dies,” he said. “We feel it now, and I’m sure we’re going to feel it for a while, if not always to some extent. He set the bar so high.”
Carlos Williams has followed in the footsteps of his father, James, who has worked at the resort for decades since it was a Howard Johnson in the 1970s, recalled Eddie Williams, then Carlos and his brothers and sisters have become like family to the permanent staff and management. the.
Manigault described Carlos as a prankster, who could put a smile on anyone having a bad day, recalling last week when he tricked people with a toy snake.
“We had the best laugh about it, made everyone’s day,” she said.
Hundreds of people have posted messages of condolences and remembrances on his Facebook page since news of his death began to spread.
“I don’t think I’ve seen anyone, just a normal person, with that much outpouring of love,” she said. “Maybe a superstar is normal, but just a normal person? He was our superstar, I guess.
Middleton said her brother is always there for his family, especially his two children, Jayden and Arianna. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, motorcycling and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Myrtle Beach High School, where he graduated in 1991, she added.
A funeral service is scheduled for noon Saturday at the Sandy Grove Missionary Baptist Church, but Eddie Williams noted that there probably isn’t a place big enough in Myrtle Beach to accommodate all the people who want to pay their respects. .
This story was originally published January 18, 2022 2:46 p.m.