Carey F. McWilliams, 85, left his earthly residence surrounded by family in Helotes, Texas and entered God’s Kingdom on May 19, 2023. His departure was marked by a T-38 flyover that God provided, in His impeccable timing, to let his family know that “Sky King” had made it home. He was born on June 14, 1937, to Lewis and Clarice Gunn McWilliams in Kemper County, Mississippi. He raised his family in New Braunfels, Texas and spent much of his retirement years in Ruidoso, New Mexico, and Boerne, Texas.
Carey, the life of the party and most loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather is survived by his wife of 62 years, Shel. Sons, Carey (Marie) McWilliams Jr., Mark (Kristen) McWilliams and daughter, Merideth (Neal) Zingelmann. Grandchildren, Joshua (Kathleen) McWilliams, Kristen (Mike) Santos, Hunter McWilliams, Colton McWilliams, Kyleigh McWilliams, Alyse Zingelmann, Ashlyn Zingelmann, and Brady Zingelmann. Great grandchildren Harper McWilliams, Havyn McWilliams, Henley McWilliams, and Michael Santos Jr. Faithful companion, his dog Pippa. Carey is preceded in death by his parents and brother Donald McWilliams.
Carey proudly served in the United States Air Force and met Shel at the Fort Sam Houston Officer’s Club in 1961, and they were married later that year. He earned his pilot’s wings in 1962 and continued on active duty until 1966. While also continuing to serve his country, Carey began a dual career with the Air Force Reserves and Continental Airlines. Together Carey and Shel traveled to many different countries and loved coordinating his work flight trips with a whole lot of fun. Subsequently he retired from the Air Force Reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1997. After, more than 5000 hours in the sky, and more stories and travels to tell than most, Carey retired from Continental and began to develop his second passion…golf. It’s difficult to say if he preferred golfing or the friendships on the courses more, but he sure loved being out on the course. A quintessential extrovert, Carey loved a good party with all his friends and family. Holidays, birthdays, vacations, hunting, water sports, concerts, movies, dancing…all of it he wanted to enjoy with his crew altogether.
Carey, an American patriot, incessant prankster, and grand storyteller will be missed greatly by all who knew him. He never met a stranger and always made us laugh. His departure leaves a void too big to ever fill. He was larger than life and enjoyed every bit of this life. His family takes solace in knowing that “Sky King” has completed his flight west, with smooth air, favorable winds, and clear skies.
The celebration of Carey’s life will be held at Doeppenschmidt Funeral Home at 189 N Seguin Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130 on Saturday, May 27th at 2pm. Carey will be laid to rest on May 31st at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in a private service with full military honors. Those who wish to express sympathy to the family please consider donating to Wounded Warrior Project or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Please sign the guestbook at www.doeppenschmidtfuneralhome.com