Mary Jo Williamson
December 30, 1925 – November 11, 2012
Mary Jo Williamson - our loving and generous mother, Gran Gran, sister, aunt, friend, and matriarch - passed from this life to the next on Sunday, November 11, 2012.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 17th, at 1:30pm, at Southland Baptist Church, led by Rev. Taylor Sandlin. Arrangements are by Johnson's Funeral Home. Family and friends may sign an online guestbook at johnsons-funeralhome.com.
Mary Jo was born on December 30, 1925, in Bridgeport, Texas, the second of 6 children born to Fern and Johnnie (Dickson) McAfee. She graduated as valedictorian from Bridgeport High School in 1943 and immediately moved to Dallas to begin her 50 year working career. She worked for 20 years as an executive secretary in the oil and gas industry, during which time she served as an officer of the Dallas Desk and Derrick Club. She ended her working career in 1994 following 17 years as a business manager for mental health professionals. Her career also included work at U.S. Air Force bases in 4 states.
Mary Jo was married for 19 years to Jack Rigby and they had 2 children, Carol and Jay. On December 30, 1970, she married Maj. Donald S. "Willy" Williamson and became stepmother to Sandy and Valerie.
Mary Jo loved the Air Force life, especially after Willy retired and they bought a home in Shalimar, Florida. They loved spending extended time there with their other retired Air Force friends – the Jet Set, as the retired fighter pilots and their wives called themselves. After Mary Jo's retirement in 1994, she and Willy moved permanently to their house on the bay in Shalimar and they enjoyed their time together until his death in 1996. In 2003, after the great grandchildren started arriving in Texas, she moved to San Angelo.
Mary Jo was active in her Florida church, Wesley United Methodist. She helped in the church office, served as a grief support group leader, trained as a Stephen Minister, and helped create a prayer chapel where communion was served every Sunday morning. She was also active in the Emmaus Community. After moving to San Angelo, she was active in her Sunday School class at Southland Baptist Church and was an RSVP volunteer tutor at Fannin Elementary School.
Above all, Mary Jo loved being with her family, wherever they gathered, but especially at the beach. Every gathering with Mary Jo was a party, her door was always open, and all were welcomed. She loved taking her grandchildren to the beach and shopping – she never said no when it came to the grands. Her generosity and love of family extended to nieces, nephews, in-laws, "out-laws," and friends who became like family.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Maj. Donald S. Williamson, USAF (Ret.); brother, Kenneth McAfee; brother, James McAfee; sister, Pat Halbrooks; sister, Sarah Neely; and special aunt, Cliva Kincaid.
She is survived by her brother, Dick McAfee and wife Pat of Fort Worth; daughter, Carol Rigby Hiebert, and husband Tommy of San Angelo; son, Jay Rigby and wife Beth of Richardson; step-daughter, Sandy Williamson of Hatfield, Pennsylvania; step-daughter, Valerie Blaxall and husband Hugh, of Sellersville, Pennsylvania. Other survivors are her grandchildren Allison Phillips and husband David of Austin; Emily Roe and husband Matt of Austin; Parris Rigby of Dallas; Aaron Rigby and wife Amy of Dallas; Angus Blaxall of Chicago, Illinois; Gordon Blaxall of Hatfield, Pennsylvania; Ione Blaxall of Hatfield, Pennsylvania; Stacy Greer and husband David of Arlington; Tracy Bennett and husband Andy of Irving; 11 great-grandchildren; and many extended family members. She is also survived by her dinner buddy and faithful visitor, Woody Hiebert of San Angelo.
Our special thanks is given to those skilled professionals at the Elsie Gayer nursing facility at Baptist Retirement Center and Hospice of San Angelo who gave Mary Jo such loving and tender care. They always made sure she was comfortable and felt valued. We also appreciate those who visited, sent cards, brought goodies, served communion, prayed, and showed God's grace in so many ways to Mary Jo and our family.
Memorials may be made to: Baptist Retirement Community, 901 N. Main 76903; Hospice of San Angelo, P.O. Box 471 76902; Water for All International, c/o Southland Baptist Church, 4300 Meadowcreek Trail, 76904; or a charity of your choice.
We love you the mostest, Gran Gran!