Joseph F. McWilliams, a member of Local 251 for 46 years, passed away on November 20, 2013 at the age of 70.
Becoming a member in 1967, Joe’s projection career found him working in the booths of the Majestic theater, the family’s Portage theater and the 51 Drive In, before settling down to a long stint with General Cinema Corporation’s West Towne Cinema – Multiplex.
After General Cinema sold the theater multiplex, Joe left the booth and became more involved as a working stagehand in the props department. It wasn’t hard identifying Joe to the visiting road crews. He could always be found wearing his trademark dark blue coveralls that he received from one of the “WWF” wrestling road crew. He always had a book in one hand, a coffee cup and cigarette in the other between his cues.
Joe served as President of Local 251 from 1975 to 1991. When it came to the Union, Joe’s membership remained very important during his illness and he kept a retired membership status.
Local 251 is honored to have had Joe as member, President and friend for 46 years.
Joe served his country, attended Queen of Apostles Seminary and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He was a lifelong learner, reading everything just for fun and in many respects was considered an intellectual.
In honor of this the McWilliams family have created the Joseph F. McWilliams Memorial Scholarship for Local 251 members and family. Please use the link below to get a copy of the application form: