Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Melissa Lou (Missy) Williamson, age 71

Melissa Lou (Missy) Williamson of Sherwood, Arkansas, drew a last, peaceful breath on this earth in the arms of her husband at Little Rock Baptist Medical Center on January 28. 2021, at the age of 71.

She waged a valiant battle with several medical conditions but despite her uncomplaining bravery and determination, she lost the fight.

She is survived by her husband of 51 years, Gary Williamson of Sherwood; daughter Jennifer Kushmick, husband Pete, and grandchildren Abby and Miles Kushmick of Winston-Salem, N.C.; daughter Amy Fink, husband Lance Fink, and granddaughter Addi Fink, all of Fayetteville, Ark. And we can’t omit the very important cat, Squeak, of questionable age and parentage. Missy spent the first 44 years of her life as a member of the U.S Air Force family, first as a daughter and then as a spouse of career Air Force members.   

She loved traveling and as a military wife, she had many opportunities to do so. She and Gary moved ten times during Gary’s career as a U.S. Air Force officer and she was normally able to handle the complexities and stresses of the moves with ease and good humor.  The single exception to the good humor part was when she had to be dragged kicking and screaming from their two-year assignment in Australia on exchange with the Royal Australian Air Force. Having dealt with frequent moves and absences of her husband on flying assignments, she was highly adaptable and self-reliant. Her approach to life can be summed up by the tattoo she proudly wore on her wrist: “She persisted”. Missy graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a degree in accounting, but spent most of her adult life working as a dedicated volunteer in several Air Force organizations, Meals-on-Wheels, and lastly in three Arkansas hospital auxiliaries. She was a state officer and board member of the Arkansas Hospital Auxiliary Association (AHAA) for over ten years and had thousands of hours of volunteer credit.  She was proudest of having been instrumental in the establishment of the AHAA scholarships in nursing and health-related professions at UAMS and of receiving the first AHAA President’s Award in 2012 for exceptional service. When not volunteering, she was widely known for her gourmet cooking, beautiful counted cross-stitch, love of animals and friends, and her unwillingness to suffer fools silently. As you would expect from this former “Jeopardy” contestant, she was good with words and enjoyed working the New York Times crosswords, usually completing them before finishing her second cup of coffee She lived a life devoted to caring for her family, helping others, and having fun throughout the journey. Few who met Missy will ever forget her sense of humor and big personality. Her death leaves a large hole in the hearts of her family and friends but the world is a better place for her having passed through.

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


  • Jocelyn Chalmers Posted February 2, 2021 1:58 PM

    I so enjoyed her company. Her sense of humor! Most conversations or emails or texts made me laugh til I cried. She will be missed!! Xo much love to the family!!

  • Don Mackay Posted February 2, 2021 2:03 PM

    Our lives were enriched by knowing her and we are eternally grateful for the joy that she brought us! Sending prayers and love to her family and friends.

  • Moe and Pat Hansen Posted February 2, 2021 3:10 PM

    Missy was a valued and treasured friend. Her humor and laughter will always stay with us. Moe and Pat
    I think of her at any given moment. I love you Missy. Pat

  • Rick Lindahl Posted February 2, 2021 4:30 PM

    Missy was truly a dedicated, one-of-a-kind and loving person. Gary, Jen and Amy I am so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Condolences from our whole family.

  • Michael Spears Posted February 2, 2021 6:09 PM

    As my “Arkansas Mother” Missy is a wonderful example on how live a life well lived and not to take life too seriously. Her only trait that could possibly exceed her sense sense of humor is her cooking skills. My life is better to have spent so much time with Missy and Gary we love you and wish you peace.

  • Shannon LeGrand Posted February 4, 2021 5:27 PM

    God broke the mold after making Missy. My heart aches for her family. She was definitely one of those people who left a footprint on the souls of all she met. To Gary, Amy, and Jennifer, may God hold you tight during this difficult time. And if there’s any way Missy can send you a message from the great beyond, please share with me because I know it will be so Missy! What a fantastic human being!

Sign Guestbook

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A Natural State Funeral Service & Crematory