January 30, 1920 — December 27, 2018
Effie “Fern” McWilliams went to be with the Lord on Dec. 27, 2018, exactly 66 years from her wedding date.
She was born in Sheridan County, Kansas on January 30, 1920, to Cass Paul and Effie (McGuire) Breeden. Fern was the third child in the family and joined older brothers Homer Lee and William “Ormond.” Her younger siblings were Grace Winifred (Westerfield) and Donald Cass.
Fern graduated from Quinter High School in Quinter, Kansas in 1938. She got her teaching degree from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, and taught for several years in elementary schools in the western Kansas area.
She moved to Albany shortly after marrying her husband of 46 years, David McWilliams, who died in 1998.
Having a family was a priority for both Dave and Fern and they quickly had six children over a 10-year period. Twins Donna and Dan were born first, with Sam, Nick, Marlene and Ted to follow.
After her children were older, Fern did some substitute teaching and teacher's aide work at Grand Prairie Grade School in Albany. She spent over nine years of her life as a wonderful caregiver for her ill husband.
Her hobbies included sewing, quilting, flowers, going for walks, watching basketball games and spending time with grandchildren, friends and family. After her husband died, she loved volunteering at the Albany Education Center. She worked on creating materials for the children with learning disabilities and talking with the parents and children when they came in. The supervisor said she was perfect for the work she did there. In her 80s, she loved having hymn-sings in her home with many dear friends.
Fern will always be best known for her loving, gentle, kind, caring mannerism. She never hesitated to entertain and serve anyone; it was what she loved to do. Many people loved her sweet smile, which was still there almost to the end.
She was preceded in death by all her siblings, their spouses and all of her husband's siblings and spouses.
Fern is survived by children, Donna McDonald (Vern) of Corvallis, Dan of Roseburg, Oregon, Sam (Kathy) of Lebanon, Nick (Dianne) of Salem, Oregon, Marlene McWilliams of Albany, and Ted (Carrie) of Roseville, California. Fern also leaves behind ten grandchildren (and the 1st great grandchild on the way).
The family wants to thank Lumina Hospice, Visiting Angels, and all other private caregivers for the wonderful care they gave to our mother in the last years and months of her life.
A “Celebration of Life” service will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 23 at Hope Church, 2817 Santiam Highway in Albany. Memorial contributions in her name can be made to Lumina Hospice or the Gideons Int.
Fisher Funeral Home is handling arrangements. wwwfisherfuneralhome.com.