Leon C. McWilliams, Jr., age 91, passed away on April 14, 2013 at Oktibbeha County Hospital. Funeral services will be Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 2:00pm at the First Baptist Church, 106 E Lampkin Street, Starkville, MS 39759. Visitation will be in the church sanctuary prior to the funeral service starting at 12:00 noon. Interment will follow in Oddfellows Cemetery.
He was born in Decatur, MS and lived in several towns in Mississippi of Newton, Houston, Eupora, and Meridian, graduating from Meridian High School in 1940. He joined the Mississippi National Guard in August of the same year. His squadron, the 153rd Observation Squadron, was activated October 15, 1940. He proudly served in the US Air Force during World War II in the European Theatre during many campaigns. He retired in September 17, 1945 after serving five years. McWilliams was discharged as Master Sergeant and enlisted in the Air Force Reserve and served a total of forty-one years in the military obtaining the rank of Major. He attended college at Mississippi State University and graduated in 1949 with a Bachelor of Sciences in Agriculture. He worked at Mississippi Department of Agriculture and later at Mississippi Chemical Corporation for 29 years as a field sales representative and retired in 1985.
McWilliams was an active member of the Bain Men’s Bible Class of the First Baptist Church, Starkville, the American Legion, and the VFW. He was a member of the MSU Alumni Association, the Bulldog Club, the Ag 100 Club, and a patron of the MSU Foundation. Including his father, there are four generations of the McWilliams family who have graduated from Mississippi State University, including all four of his children and three grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents Leon Clayton McWilliams, Sr. and Willie Ora Crawford McWilliams, sisters Mary McWilliams Terrell and Dorothy McWilliams Nunnery, brothers Thomas Edward “Shorty” McWilliams and Billy Eugene McWilliams. Survivors include his wife Ann Gordon Scrivener McWilliams, sons Leon Clayton “Clay” McWilliams, III (Beverly), John Gordon McWilliams, Harry Thomas McWilliams, daughter Cathy Ann McWilliams Kerr (Michael), sister Virginia McWilliams Bolender, sister-in-law Virginia Majure McWilliams (Mrs. Billy), grandchildren Margaret McWilliams Spitz, Ann McWilliams, Mary McWilliams Kimball, Daniel Kerr, and Rebecca Kerr Munshaw, three great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the McWilliams Family Scholarship Fund for the Agricultural Sciences Department through the MSU Foundation or to the First Baptist Church, Starkville, MS.
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