Eugene G. “Gene” McWilliams, age 93, of Tionesta, PA died on Friday morning, January 10, 2020 at Windsor House at Snyder Memorial Health Care Center in Marienville, PA. He was born on the family farm in Wolf’s Corners, Tionesta Township on October 19, 1926, the ninth child of the late Thomas and Viola (Wagner) McWilliams.
Gene attended a one room schoolhouse known as Shriver School for eight years and graduated from Tionesta High School in 1944. He joined the army in 1944, taking basic training at Ft. McCellan, AL. After serving two months in the Philippine Islands and eleven months in Japan with the 24th Division, 21st Infantry, he was dishcharged on November 24, 1946 with the rank of Staff Sergeant. He then returned home to Wolf’s Corners and drove truck, hauling milk daily to Walker’s Creamery in Warren until going into partnership with his brother, Maurice, obtaining the family farm from their father and began operating the McWilliams Dairy Farm. Over the years, they acquired properties known as the Slocum/Hinderer farm, the Fred Mealy farm, and the Ralph McWilliams farm, all located in Clarion County. On July 15, 1950, Gene married Jolene E. Weikal in the Lutheran Church at Venus, PA and they built their home on the family farm. After retirement from the dairy business, Gene and Maurice continued working the fields and raising beef cattle until December of 2009 when Maurice passed away. The farms are still in the McWilliams families, with the exception of the Fred Mealy farm, which was sold in 2010 to Tracey and Ty Brown, Gene’s granddaughter.
In addition to his wife, Jolene, he is survived by a daughter and a son: Connie L. Faraone and her husband Joe, Jr., and Robert E. McWilliams and his wife Dona L., all of Tionesta. Four grandchildren: Heather (McWilliams) Filson, Brandon R. McWilliams and his wife Elizabeth, Tracey Ann (Faraone) Brown and her husband Ty, and Joseph Faraone III and his wife Donna. Seven great grandchildren: Caleb A. Filson, Bella K. McWilliams, Joshua B. McWilliams, Connor J. Brown, Carley Ann Brown, Annalee E. Faraone, and Josephine C. Faraone. Two sisters: Lois Sliker of Erie, PA, and Shirley Flick and her husband Donald of Beaver Falls, PA. Numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Gene was preceded in death by six brothers and three sisters: Ralph, Harry, T. Russ, Ken, Arley “Jake,” and Maurice McWilliams, Edna Byers, Arlene Sliker, and Opal McWilliams, in childhood.
Friends will be received from 2-4 and 6-8 P.M. on Thursday, January 16, 2020 and from 10-11 A.M. on Friday, January 17, 2020 at the Norman J. Wimer Funeral Home of Tionesta. Services will be held at 11 A.M. on Friday at the funeral home with Rev. Samuel J. Wagner, Associate Pastor of Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin, PA, officiating. Burial will be in Wolf’s Corners Cemetery, Tionesta. Memorial contributions may be made to Faith Lutheran Church, 1759 County Line Road, Venus, PA 16364 or to the Sarah Stewart Bovard Memorial Library, P.O. Box 127, Tionesta, PA 16353.
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