Mary Jo Williamson

December 30, 1925November 11, 2012

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

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!


  • Memorial Service Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mary Jo Williamson

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November 18, 2012

We are so sorry for your loss.
Joe and Henya Betras


November 16, 2012

Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of loss.

Candi wendt

November 16, 2012

Gran Gran was an amazingly beautiful woman. She had light that shined in her that could only be from the Lord. Thank you Philips family for sharing your gracious and lovely Gran. She will be truly missed!

Evie Kincaid

November 15, 2012

I always remember her quick smile and the sparkle in her eyes. Mary Jo was a wonderful gift to so many that knew her. I am so grateful to have been able to know her and the wonderful family she raised. Thank you for sharing your love and light for all these years. Love, Evie

Bess Carsner

November 15, 2012

I will always remember Gran Gran's generosity and love for her family. Much love to all of you!

Dan Steinfink

November 15, 2012

Mary Jo was the drill sergeant, house mother and office manager for me and a gaggle of other mental health professionals for many years. She put me on a firm footing when I started out in practice 34 years ago. The office was a family because of her as well as a place to work. I will miss her.

Shannon Matthews

November 15, 2012

The "bestest" mother-in-law, mother, and grandmother. Gran-gran's life was one of sharing and giving to her family and friends.

Sybil Holveck

November 15, 2012

Mary Jo's obituary is a beautiful tribute to a one of a kind lady! Such a bright, vivacious was an honor to count her a friend.

Jeannie Middelton

November 14, 2012

Take comfort in knowing that now you have a special guardian angel to watch over you.

November 14, 2012

What a Great Lady. There are many good memories about discussing politics, Chinese food dinners, trips to the beach, watching her eyes light up when she talked about family, grand babies, and her life experiences. She will be truly missed. Harold Magers