Willie Lee McMath was born on April 20,1930 in Little Rock, Arkansas to Ed McMath and Olie McMath (Robinson). He was the youngest of three children born to this union.
Willie was a member of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Little Rock. He attended and graduated from Dunbar High School. Willie developed a love of flying model airplanes at the early age of 13 and he also pursued his Pilot’s license before he moved to Detroit, Michigan in September 1948.
Willie was one of the four original founders of the Radio Control Club of Detroit (RCCD) which was organized in 1951, charter established in 1952. The RCCD is one of the oldest flying model airplane clubs in the country and the 1st one to be completely radio controlled. It was incorporated in 1953 and sanctioned by AMA (the Academy of Model Aeronautics) that same year. Historically, the Wright Brothers flew their first flight 50 years prior. Over the years, many facets of model aviation have been included in RCCD (u-control, radio control, giant, and helicopters).
Willie was a member of the St. Paul AME Zion Church and a faithful member of the Zionite Usher Board for over 60 years. Willie met Bernice Fields when she joined the Usher Board.
Willie and Bernice married on March 14, 1964. They had 2 children, one daughter and one son.
Willie worked at Federal Incorporation for 28 years. He also worked at Budd Company for a short period of time.
Willie (affectionally known as Billy to his family) readily helped anyone that needed his assistance. He loved to take pictures of his family and friends. He liked to discuss politics. Willie always encouraged family members to invest. Willie also loved to travel with his family. He has been on many vacations ranging from RVing to cruising.
Willie had many friendships. Some were well over 60 years. Willie was a Ham Radio Operator. His handle was “K8GHZ”. He was a simple man that did complicated things. Willie was a jack of all trades as he could just about fix anything! Willie believed in the phrase “there is no such thing as can’t”. He was a kind, thoughtful, honest man who believed that all things were possible. He has truly been a blessing to many over the years.
Willie was energetic and vibrant until the good Lord called him home on Monday, March 21, 2022.
Willie was preceded in death by his step-mother, Ruth McMath, his step-sister, Roxie L. Blanks, his brother, William McMath (affectionally known as “Brother”), his step-sister, Dorothy Simpson-Bain, and his sister, Viola Smart.
Willie leaves with cherished memories his wife of 58 years, Bernice McMath; his daughter, Verdetta Love (Anthony); his son, Roderick McMath (Carol); his grandsons, Aaron and Alex Love, his niece, Gloria Smart, a host of great nieces, great nephews, family and friends.
He is soaring with the angels and flying model airplanes forever!
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