John ‘Jack’ Williamson

A Celebration of Life for John ‘Jack’ Williamson, 59, Lawrence, will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, April 12 at Mustard Seed Church 700 Wakarusa Dr Lawrence, KS 66049. Jack died Saturday, April 6, 2013, from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.

Jack was born July 3, 1953, in Aurora, Ill., the son of John and Barbara Baker Williamson. He graduated from Ritenour High School and later earned his Bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University and a Master’s of Science and Education from the University of Arizona.

Jack worked as a UniServ Director and organizer for the Kansas National Education Association serving teachers and other education employees in Douglas, Miami, and Franklin Counties. Previously, he taught history and economics in Springfield, MO where he also served as wrestling coach. Jack was himself an accomplished wrestler and avid bicyclist. He took up motorcycling with the same enthusiasm and advocated for motorcycles legislation. He was a member of ABATE and the X WINOS Motorcycle Club.

Jack was also a member of the Holmes Brigade Union Civil War Reenactment Group, using his love of American history while participating in historical reenactments throughout the Midwest.

Jack loved politics and worked tirelessly to elect pro-public education candidates. His enthusiasm was contagious and brought many teachers in both Kansas and Missouri into political action.

Jack married Virginia ‘Ginny’ McQuaide on Apr. 17, 1987 in Joplin, MO. She survives of the home. Other survivors include four sons – Joe Williamson, Austin, TX; James Williamson, Columbia, MO; Aaron Snyder, Chattanooga, TN; Joel Snyder and wife Katie, Springfield, MO; and two daughters – Erin Williamson, Kansas City and Cara Snyder, Topeka. Survivors also include his mother, Barbara Williamson, Brighton, MI; six sisters – Mary Bischoff, Malvern, PA; Gail Hall and husband Warren, Del Mar, CA; Lynda Henderson and husband Phil, Colorado Springs; Diane Williamson, Brighton, MI; Karen Ruffatto and husband Jim, Chatham, IL; and Barbara Mekkes and husband Greg, Norfolk, VA; and one grandson, Evan Snyder.

The family will receive friends following the service. Memorial contributions may be made to National Alliance on Mental Health, 3803 N. Fairfax Dr. Ste 100 Arlington, VA 22203, in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana St., Lawrence, KS, 66044. Online condolences may be sent at rumsey-yost.com

I fear nothing. I want nothing. I am free… Nikos Kazantzakis

Messages & Condolences

  • Resa Boydston says:

    May the stars carry your sadness away, May the flowers fill your heart with beauty, May hope forever wipe away your tears. And, above all, may our prayers make you strong.

    Sincerely yours,
    Resa Boydston

  • Eric McNeal says:

    I dislike good-byes. So I will say “see you later,” to a very good friend. Honest, passionate, funny – reenacting and wrestling events were always something to be looked forward to with Jack. God bless Ginny and family in your time of sorrow. Remember Isaiah 40:31 and Revelations 21:4.

    God speed Jack, we will see you on the other side. Until then.

    Eric McNeal

  • Tom Hughes says:

    It was great working with Jack in Capital UniServ. His enthusiasm was contagious. My sincere condolences to his family and to my former colleagues at Kansas NEA.

  • Andrew Ivory says:

    Coach was an incredible man and mentor to many young men. I can’t begin to explain what an influence he was in my life. I had the privilage of having Coach Williamson as teacher as well as a wrestling coach. I remember him quizing me during wrestling practice about history class..always expecting and bringing the most out of all of us on the mat and in the classroom. The world is truly a sadder place without Jack Williamson. Rest in peace Coach and thank you for everything you did for all of us.

  • Ed Robins says:

    Jack was one of those rare individuals who could make most anyone be at ease, relax, smile, and feel positive in his presence. I always enjoyed so very much being around Jack at conferences and NEA activities. He will be greatly missed, but long remembered for what he meant to others.
    Ginny, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

  • Ben Byrd says:

    Our thoughts & prayers are with Jack’s family. We had some fun talks while working together at Kickapoo High school!

  • Darrell McCune says:

    I worked closely with Jack for a number of years in Prairie Fire UniServ. He was energetic, intelligent and understanding as he tirelessly served the teachers in our area. We will miss him greatly! My thoughts and prayers are with Ginny and family at this very difficult time.

  • Kelli (Shilling) Owens says:

    Dear Williamson Family ~
    We are truly sorry for your loss.
    I, no We, were so fortunate to have met Jack, Ginny & Cara thanks to their patronage with Riverfront Harley-Davidson/Buell.
    I am certain I can speak on behalf of all of us, we truly enjoyed serving this wonderful family.
    Peaceful, happy and kind are the first words that come to my mind when thinking of Jack. You could feel and see the love and gratitude he felt for his wonderful wife, Ginny.
    The peace he’d created with his life was tangible.
    We employees, were rewarded with friendships as a result of that business. Jack is and will remain a priceless gift we were given.
    Thank you, Jack. It was an honor.
    Love, Kelli (Shilling) Owens and Family

  • John Maki says:

    I was shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of Jack. He will be greatly missed and was such as asset to the Holmes and everyone he touched. I will miss him greatly.

  • Christina Wolken says:

    It is difficult to believe that I just spoke with Jack last week. He was such a bright spot for so many. In all the places I have worked, there has never been another like Jack. My prayers and thoughts go out to all of those who will be missing him.

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