Henry Mars "Skeets" McWilliams Jr.

August 8, 1924May 18, 2017

Henry "Skeets" McWilliams, 92, passed away Thursday, May 18, 2017 at the VA Nursing Home in Collins, Ms. Funeral services will be held at Lakewood Memorial Cemetery Tuesday, May 23 at 12 noon.

Skeets was born in Jackson, Miss., where he spent his younger years learning to play guitar. He went on to become a jazz guitarist working with the Ray Anthony Orchestra, radio station WGN and TV station WBKB in Chicago, Illinois, and later owned Skeets' Guitar Shop in Jackson, Miss. He was one of five guitarist invited to perform at the World Guitar Exposition in France and was inducted into the Mississippi Musician's Hall of Fame in 2000. Skeets was a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Esther McWilliams; wife, Ruth McWilliams and sister, Dorothy Guinn.

He is survived by his son, Larry McWilliams (Deanna); brother, Jerry McWilliams; four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Please visit for online guestbook.


  • Graveside Service Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Henry Mars "Skeets" McWilliams Jr.

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James Garner

December 5, 2017

Rest In Peace my Friend playing music together was the Top

Rita Smith

July 25, 2017

Mr. Skeets was my patient at the msvh in Collins. It was an honor to care for him. I left April 2016. I just learned of his passing today. I worked every weekend as RN supervisor. On one occasion i met Bob Saxton when he came to visit. My deepest condolences to Larry, his son. "He held a special place in my heart."

Bernard Jones

June 21, 2017

I just recently found out that Skeets had passed. His kindness impacted my life in ways he never knew. A true gentleman and talented guitarist.

Kathleen Sharp Hudson

May 25, 2017

I just learned today that Skeets died recently. He was a good friend of my father, Wyatt Sharp, better known as Jerry Lane, in Jackson. They played together many times. Dad had great respect for Skeets as a musician and as a person. Skeets played at my father's funeral when he died in 1988. My brother Wyatt (aka Bubba) visited Skeets regularly and had many conversations with him on the phone in his later years. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of his family. I write this note for my brother Wyatt and sister Cindy also.

May 23, 2017

So sorry to hear this...I knew Skeets and Larry from younger days when I was becoming a singer, they were both very patient and so kind! Skeets had a heart bigger than Dallas and was so skilled and talented beyond his time ...he will be sorely missed, I pray God will hold his family close in his loving embrace and give you comfort during this great time of need,prayers for strength!! Cindi Young(Saint Francisville, Louisiana)

Johnny Barranco

May 23, 2017

A real inspiration in life! My first guitar teacher. An amazing man and an amazing guitarist!

Leslie Cooper

May 23, 2017

So sorry to hear.... Skeets played often with my father Woody Coats. When I was a little girl he was always trying to get me to giggle. He said it was the sweetest sound he ever heard and I would just giggle even louder. He played for the first wedding reception and I was so happy to have him be a part of that special day. Thanks for the giggles Skeets.... I hope you and Woody can look down and keep an eye on me....

Frank Dantoni

May 22, 2017

So sorry to hear of his passing. He was like a second father to me. My best memories as a child were spent with Larry and his family.

Chris Alford

May 22, 2017

Skeets was a special man, a kind gentleman, and a remarkable beautiful musican. His music had a profound impact on me and many others. Thank you Skeets.

Jim McCraw

May 22, 2017

One of the finest gentlemen I knew. Always positive and encouraging. Great way to spend the afternoon was hang around the Guitar Shop and listen to Skeets, Bucky Barrett and Bob Saxton play. He told me one of his favorite gigs was playing at midnight mass at the Carmelite Monastery each Christmas.