Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Kenneth Eugene McWilliams, 78

           Kenneth Eugene McWilliams drew his last breath on Friday, June 7th, 2019 in the comfort of his own home with his loving wife, Mary by his side.  Ken was born in Flint, MI on August 6th, 1940.  Ken had called many places home throughout his life before discovering Shirley, Arkansas where he spent his last 11 years.  The years he spent in Shirley brought him true joy whether he was fishing at the river, having his morning coffee with the locals who became dear friends or just sitting on his back porch with his wife to watch the sunset.

            Ken was a veteran of the U.S. Army who left to serve his country in Germany when he was 18 years old.  He had a lifetime love affair with country music.  An amazing guitarist, singer, songwriter whose music brought joy to many. He served as a great friend and mentor to countless musicians.  Through music, he met his best friend and soul mate, Mary.  She not only became is his wife but his muse.  He became her husband and was known at “Mary’s Cowboy”.  His love for music was followed closely by his love for fishing.  He was quick-witted with a great (and sometimes inappropriate) sense of humor.  There was not a day went by when he wasn’t cracking a joke about something.

            Ken was preceded in death by his father, Charles McWilliams, his mother, Pauline (Alberts) Jennings, stepfather, Allen Jennings and brother, Jim Jennings. He is survived by his wife, Mary McWilliams, his sister, Victoria Winebarger, his five children, Kathleen Metzler, Debra Willette, Diana Miller, Steven McWilliams and Monica West, his step-son, Jim Mahoney, his eleven grandchildren, Naomi, Dwayne, Nathan, Dion, Jesse, William, Caleb, Lauren, Stefanie, Danielle and Cole, his three step-grandchildren, Christopher, Brooke and Garrett.  H is also survived by 14 great grandchildren. 

            He will be greatly missed by his family and friends, but he will never be forgotten.

“Over and over and over again.  The words keep repeating it’s over but then I keep reliving those sweet memories and it’s not over for me.” 

  ~  Ken McWilliams

Per Kens request no services will be held. 

Arrangements are under the trusted direction of A Natural State Funeral Service, 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas, 72076. 501-982-3400. 


  • charles hicks Posted June 10, 2019 5:24 PM


  • Monica West Posted June 10, 2019 6:35 PM

    It was an honor to write your obituary. It was an honor to call you Dad. It was an honor to love you. Thank you for honoring me with your love my whole life.

  • Eddie Burton Posted June 10, 2019 9:25 PM

    Ken was a true gentleman and a great promoter of country music.

  • Jani Wright Kehoe Posted June 10, 2019 10:22 PM

    Mary – this was absolutely beautiful. What a wonderful life you had Cowboy.

  • Lafayette Yarbrough Posted June 10, 2019 10:53 PM

    Hi Mary So very sorry for your loss my friend.I loved the video.Ken was very good.Sorry I never knew him personally God be with you Honey Lafayette Yarbrough

    • Tom Isanhart Posted June 11, 2019 8:12 PM

      So sorry for Kenny and family

      • Diana Miller Posted June 12, 2019 10:03 AM

        Thank you

  • Gary Hart Posted June 11, 2019 4:58 AM

    Wonderful friend

  • Connie & Dave LaFerriere Posted June 11, 2019 1:55 PM

    What a beautiful tribute for a beautiful partner

  • Diana (McWilliams) Miller Posted June 11, 2019 7:04 PM

    I have many precious memories of my Dad from over the years. Riding horses, fishing in a boat and ice fishing, walking the Mackinaw Bridge, camping, playing Euchre but most of all sitting listening to you play your guitar. It was an awesome experience for me to get up on stage with you and sing. You always knew what key I was in even when I didn’t. I love you with all my heart and always will.

  • Debra (McWilliams) Willette Posted June 12, 2019 2:10 PM

    Dad there was so much you taught me. Like if I wanted to go fishing with you, I had to dig the worms, and how to string the fishing line on my pole and knot the hook on.. When in a fight act crazy, and alway’s punch straight out with my closed fist. You turned me on to Fox New’s we could get so worked up on politics. I Love that we agreed on that department. I will forever cherish and remember Praying together on your back porch, I was so blessed hearing you pray with so much faith and authority for your Children and Grandchildren. Keep Praying for us Dad. I Love You

  • Charlie Gail ( AKA ) Charles Morrill Posted June 14, 2019 3:54 AM

    My longtime friend. Loved you like a brother. You helped me learn about Nashville and writing songs. You were there for me in my time of need. I couldn’t wait to go into Nashville and play music and go backstage at the Grand old Opera. Thanks for being an amazing friend. God Speed. Play Him one for me.

  • Bob Clark Posted June 22, 2019 6:18 PM

    A true gentleman and wonderful musician.
    RIP Kenny

  • virginia mcquaid Posted July 16, 2019 11:08 AM

    Beautiful Tribute

  • Barry Russell Posted December 6, 2019 1:27 PM

    Had great memories singing and playing together on Music Row in Nashville many years ago. My prayers go to the family.

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