Donald Garrett “Mac” McWilliams – Runnels County Register

Donald Garrett “Mac” McWilliams died at his Fair Oaks Ranch home surrounded by family on October 21, 2022. Mac was 97 and was born in Ballinger, Texas on May 23, 1925. His father, Richmond Earl McWilliams, was Sheriff of Runnels. County and later as a Texas Ranger. His mother, Ella Mae Woods, was a great-grandniece of Robert E Lee as well as a descendant of two signers of the Declaration of Independence. He had four brothers and five sisters. Five of the 10 children served in World War II; one was killed in Italy and two Silver Stars.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1943, being assigned to the 1st Marine Division, 5th Infantry Regiment and he fought throughout the Pacific in New Britain, Peleliu and Okinawa; he also served in China. Back in the United States in 1946, he enrolled at Texas Tech where he met Margaret Melcher, the young woman who would be his wife and best friend for 76 years. He earned a degree in petroleum engineering and later worked for SEI, Sinclair Oil, Skelly Oil and finally Tenneco Oil and Gas. Beginning in the Permian Basin (Midland), he then worked in Labrador, the Sahara Desert, the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

He has written books about his time in the Marine Corps (Never Too Old to Cry), a story of life after the war (Courage of a Small Town Son) and a story of his family (If It Had Only Rained) . Growing up during the Great Depression, he valued family, honesty and integrity above all else.

All his brothers and sisters preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife Maggie, son and daughter-in-law Gary and Jeri McWilliams of Fair Oaks, daughter Connie Jones of Pflugerville, and daughter and son-in-law Cindy and Ben Walthall of Austin. Life has blessed him with eight grandchildren (Patrick McWilliams, Scott and his wife Lupita McWilliams, Matthew and his wife Minna McWilliams, Joshua McWilliams, Jennifer and his husband Scott Kulle, Christina Jones, David and his wife Johanna Walthall and Alexa Walthall He was doubly blessed with 10 great-grandchildren (Devin, Grayson, Mark and Miles McWilliams, Alex and Will Kulle, Katie and Sam Walthall, and Lily and Rylie Walthall).

Services will be held at First United Methodist Church in Boerne at 10 a.m. on Friday, November 4. Interment will be at Mission Burial Park North and a reception will follow at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests consideration for donations to Wish for Our Heroes ( or Honor Flights San Antonio (

Arrangements are in the care and direction of the staff at Holt & Holt Funeral Home of Boerne. To share words of comfort with the family, please visit

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