Walter (Tex) Adams Williford, III
Born in Saint Louis, Missouri on December 21st, 1926
Departed on June 2nd, 2019 and resided in Parker, Colorado
Tex was born in St. Louis, MO. and was the only child of Frona Willis WIlliford and Walter A. Williford, Jr. The family moved to Amarillo, TX. where Tex attended the public schools until returning to St. Louis when he was in high school. The football coach at Hazelwood High School couldn’t remember “Walter’s” name and began referring to him as “Tex.” The moniker stayed with him the remainder of his life.
Tex enlisted in the Marine Corps at age 17 in 1944 to serve in WWII, and he did his basic training at Camp Lejeune. After training, Tex shipped out to the Pacific Theater, where his Marine Corps command assisted in the U. S. occupation of Japan after the Japanese surrender. The last battleship Tex served on in the Pacific was the USS Fall River. The crew of the Fall River participated in Operation Crossroads, which was involved in further testing of the atomic bomb in the Bikini Atoll after WWII ended. Tex received an Honorable Discharge from the Marine Corps in 1946, and he then completed his education at the University of Missouri.
Like many returning veterans, Tex had many successful jobs, but he found his future career with Brown Forman in Tampa, Fl. While living in Tampa, he met the former Jeannette McDonald who was a flight attendant at the time. They were married on August 25, 1956, in Jeannette’s hometown of Litchfield, Il. The Willifords eventually moved to Houston, Texas, where they spent many happy years, and also enjoyed weekend visits to their ranch in Round Top, TX. After leaving Brown Forman, Tex had a very successful career when he joined Barton Brands, headquartered in Chicago. He was a regional sales manager for most of the southern and southwestern states. In addition to his successful career with Barton Brands, he also brokered the popular Southern Comfort whiskey until retiring from both positions in 1992.
Tex and Jeannette had no children but “adopted” Jeannette’s younger brother, Tom McDonald, and subsequently his family, wife Lola, and daughters Michelle and Jeannette (Jenny). The McDonald family moved from Houston to Parker, CO. in 1979, and Tex and Jeannette were frequent visitors for holidays and summer getaways.
After Jeannette’s sudden death on December 31, 1997, Tex remained in their Houston home, but he traveled extensively across the U.S. and overseas with close friends and family. Tex also continued to spend many weekends in Round Top, TX, which was always one of his favorite places to visit. In January 2014, Tex moved to the Denver area to be closer to Tom and Lola McDonald and their family. Tex considered all the McDonalds to be his “kids,” and he was an important and beloved member of the McDonald family. Tex will be greatly missed by all with whom he associated. He was a true gentleman, who lived his life with integrity and accountability, and he was fiercely independent. We are all standing on the shoulders of the Greatest Generation, and Tex Williford certainly exemplified those attributes his entire life.
Tex is survived by Tom and Lola McDonald, and their daughter Michelle Connolly (Rod) and their daughters, Rosie and AJ; and by daughter Jenny Hubbard (Jeff) and their children, Jeb, Ellie, and Tommy.
Funeral services will be at Ft. Logan Cemetery in Denver, CO. and at a later date in Round Top, TX.