Jimmie (James) McWilliams died at his Three Rivers home, surrounded by his family, just after midnight on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. He was 80.
He leaves behind his son, JD McWilliams, of Bozeman, Mont.; daughter Teresa Henschel of Pismo Beach, Calif.; son John McWilliams of Three Rivers; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie, 15 years ago.
Jimmie was born September 24, 1937, in Bonham, Texas, one of five siblings born to Dallas and Bessie McWilliams. He was raised in Pixley, Calif.
In 1954, he joined the U.S. Army as a medic. He was stationed in Korea and Germany and moonlighted as a pool shark.
He worked as a psychiatric technician in Porterville and Stockton, retiring from this career in the 1980s. Through the years, Jim owned and operated various businesses including a drive-in movie theater, bail bond agency, private investigations agency, assisted living homes, and a pizza parlor and card room in Las Vegas in the 1960s. Much of this was accomplished while also serving as a sergeant in the California National Guard.
Jimmie was a workaholic for the majority of his life and only slowed down when his health declined.
He also served as a regional president for the CWA Union. Whatever task Jimmie chose, he flourished at it. But his best job was the raising of his three children who will forever be grateful for his unlimited source of love.
Jim was known for his wonderful sense of humor, magnetic charm, and abundant generosity.
His family gave Jim a wonderful celebration-of-life party one week before his passing. Friends and family came from as far away as Virginia to say their goodbyes. He was lucid and as humorous as ever. He did not want a funeral.