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

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