Joseph Amos McWilliams, 72, of Muskogee, Oklahoma passed peacefully and prepared to be with the Lord on Tuesday morning, March 19, 2013 at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Hospital in Muskogee.
Joseph, Joe or Jody to his friends, was born in Madill, Oklahoma on June 9, 1940 to Amos and Lillie (Duncan) McWilliams. While attending school at Madill Public Schools, Joe met the love his life, Santa Ann Godfrey. They went on their first date in 1955 and after dating off and on for 8 years, they were married on October 23, 1964 at the Chapel of the Bells in Reno, Nevada. In 1967 Joe and Santa welcomed, Mike, the first of their two children and in 1970 their daughter, Kiki, was born and their family was complete.
Joe faithfully served his country for over 20 years, first in the National Guard, and then in active duty with the United States Army. While in service, he completed his Associate of Arts degree in Business and worked in communications, recruiting, and later in Club Management. Through his military service he was stationed in Korea, Vietnam, Germany, Hawaii, and stateside before retiring in 1982. Following his retirement, the family moved to Porter, OK where he and Santa owned and operated J&S Grocery and the Kopper Kettle café in downtown Porter. In 1993 the family moved to Muskogee and Joe began working for Flint Engineering.
Joe made the most important choice of his life as a teenager, accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, and rededicated his life in 1995, becoming a committed and vocal follower of Christ. Joe loved to share the Lord with those around him, loved reading his Bible, attending services, and watching his favorite preachers on television. He was a member of Timothy Baptist Church in Muskogee. As with all things Joe did, he was active and committed to his faith and, while he did not look forward to leaving the family he loved, he looked forward to his eternal home in Heaven.
Joe was a living example of selfless love of family, country, and Savior and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Amos and Lilly. He is survived by his beloved wife, Santa, of the home, son, Mike and his wife Joan of Muskogee, daughter Kiki, of Midwest City, a sister, Pat Ellett of Nevada, and nieces, Connie, Vicky, and Cindee, as well as a host of friends and neighbors.
A memorial service is scheduled at Timothy Baptist Church in Muskogee on Friday, March 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm with interment at the Ft. Gibson National Cemetery to follow.
Funeral service arrangements are under the direction of Foster-Petering Funeral Home. Condolences to the family may be made at www.foster-petering.com