At the end of her talk about meeting King, attending the March on Washington, and witnessing the "siege of First Baptist Church" - when protesters were trapped in a church by a white mob in 1961 - Williams quickly brushed away a tear.
It was the Magic Cottage's way of celebrating the birthday of the civil rights leader for a group of 4- and 5-year-olds. They know him only from a book. But they know Williams and see her every day.
She sat in a chair, surrounded by the children. On the wall were cardboard people with paper plates for faces and the words "People should live together in peace."
Williams, a longtime resident of Levittown, was born in Birmingham, Ala., and moved to Montgomery as a child. The seventh of eight children, she lived near the Capitol and just down the street from First Baptist, led by King's colleague the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy.
Williams' mother, Carrie, a maid for a family that made its money in pancake syrup, was a King follower. She went to community meetings. She didn't ride the segregated buses.
But it was through Williams' stepfather, Melvin Williams, a painter and paper hanger, that Cathrine Williams said she met King.
She'd had a glimpse of him. Her stepfather had been hired to hang wallpaper in King's house, and Melvin Williams wanted his children to talk to the man who was leading a movement. That's when King hugged her.
But her first glimpse had come earlier, when her Brownie troop met at King's church: "He spoke from the pulpit and came down and shook all our hands."
Years later, Williams' mother would be among about 1,500 activists trapped inside Abernathy's church when it was surrounded by the mob.
The meeting, attended by King, James Farmer, John Lewis, and other civil rights leaders, was held in support of the Freedom Riders, who traveled into the South in buses to test the Supreme Court ruling outlawing segregation in interstate public facilities.
Williams was outside the church, and she and others were told by civil rights leaders to go home. Many left, she said, but only after police threw tear gas.
Hours later, Williams said, she was startled by a thunderous sound. "Woomp, woomp, woomp," Williams said. "It shook the earth." It was the sound of the Alabama National Guard marching toward the church to protect those inside.
The sun was coming up when Williams' mother finally made it home.
"She told us to make her some coffee and give her a kiss," Williams said, "and she went about her day."
Months later, the family would leave Montgomery. Williams' brother, a soldier, had married a German woman he met overseas. He knew he couldn't bring her to the South. He moved to Levittown and asked their mother to move as well.
So the family of nine piled into a white Lincoln Continental and headed to Bucks County.
Her story over, the preschoolers applauded.
Williams' life since then has been marked by two marriages, motherhood to six, and a long career as a seamstress. She even met Rosa Parks years ago on a trip to Detroit to visit family.
Williams went back to school at 59 to get her GED, and is now enrolled at Manor College to earn a certification in early-childhood education.
On Thursday, she told the students that she saw King again when her mother took her to the March on Washington in 1963.
The students talked about their own ideas of King.
Andrew Jack Plenn, 5, said, "He went to jail because he said stuff people didn't want to hear."
Kiersten Ebersole, 5, described him as a man who said, "We should all live in peace."
And Edwin Santiago, 5, said that if he had the chance to meet Dr. King, he would tell him: "I would do the same thing that you did."
Contact staff writer Kristin E. Holmes at 610-313-8211