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John E. McWilliams Jr., known to family and old friends as “Mick or Mickey,”died at 91 on December 28, 2018 at Promenade Health and Rehab, Rogers, AR.
He was born at home on August 16, 1927 in Glenshaw, PA to John E. and Madeline McKnight McWilliams. He and his younger sister grew up in Ross Township, a suburb of Pittsburgh, part of a very close and happy family that included his grandmother and an aunt and uncle next door. He helped with the family Victory Garden during the war years as well as raising chickens to sell eggs. He told many wonderful and funny stories about his childhood and youth. He remained very close to his sister until her death in October.
He was drafted into the Army following his 18th birthday in 1945 and served through most of 1946. Following his release from the Army he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA where he was a member of Alpha Sigma Phi. He graduated with the classes of 1949 and 1950, the largest graduating class up to that time due to the large numbers of returning veterans.
He was employed by U.S. Steel Supply in Pittsburgh and transferred to Houston, Texas in 1955. He took an early retirement but continued to work as an independent broker in the Houston area until he moved to Northwest Arkansas 2009. He continued working until he reached his mid-80’s.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Timothy McWilliams; his children’s mother, Colleen McCahan McWilliams; and his sister, Mary Jane Long.
He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Diane; three children: John McWilliams III (Mary), Deborah Balliew (Jeff), and Jeff McWilliams (Judy); nine grandchildren: John McWilliams (Danielle), Sarah McWilliams Guerra (Ricky), Joanna Balliew Cummings (Kimo), Jenny Balliew Otley (Bryan), Danielle Balliew Nereson (Will), Jessica McWilliams Dickerson (Dustin), Victoria McWilliams, Caleb McWilliams (Raegan), and David McWilliams, as well as seven great grandchildren. He is also survived by cousins, four nieces, three children he raised as his own, Laura Varga, Rebecca Schultz, Robert Schlief, as well as many, many friends and church family.
He has been a faithful follower of Christ for most of his adult life and delighted in studying and sharing God’s word. He loved his church family and was dearly loved in return. Sunday mornings were his favorite part of the week and he rarely missed a Sunday until his failing health precluded it in the last two months of his life. He always had a smile and encouraging words – or a joke - for everyone and he radiated joy to all around him. He will be missed by all, not only as a good and humble man who saw the best in everyone but as a great prayer warrior who interceded daily for all in his family, his wife’s family, the leaders of our church and our country, and many missionaries around the world.
Private committal service and interment will be held at the Fayetteville National Cemetery in Fayetteville, AR. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 19th at Trinity Grace Presbyterian Church, 5845 Bellview Rd., Rogers, AR with Dr. Chris Miller officiating.
Memorial donations may be made to: Ligonier Ministries, 421 Ligonier Ct.
Sanford, FL 32771 or Trinity Grace Church, 5845 Bellview Rd., Rogers, AR 72758 or to Circle of Life Hospice: 901 Jones Road, Springdale, AR 72762 Or online: https://4agc.com/donation_pages/2f0db50b-8093-4b93-8625-6960247b819e
Arrangements have been entrusted to Stockdale-Moody Funeral Services of Rogers. Words of comfort or memories may be shared at stockdale-moodyfs.com