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William Arvel “Willie” McDonald, 85 – Passed August 21, 2021

William Arvel “Willie” McDonald, 85, of Marquette Heights, Illinois, passed away at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, August 21, 2021, at his home. He was formerly of Creve Coeur, Missouri.

He was born November 6, 1935 in Summersville, Missouri, to Velma C. McDonald. He moved to Cabool, Missouri, at the age of six and graduated from Cabool High School in 1953.

He married Sharon Kay Hefner on January 8, 1971 in Cabool. She died February 19, 1999. He later married Sharon Kay (Giddens) Lydick on January 20, 2012 in Pekin, Illinois. She survives.

Also surviving are one stepson, Richard (Tina Benson) Yates of Creve Coeur; two stepdaughters, Joanne Brown of Charles City, Iowa, and Candi (Raymond) Milliken of Creve Coeur; eight step grandchildren, Jamee Milliken, Alicia Painter, Bethany Schott, Allen Brooks Yates, Brandon Yates, Brittany Yates, Brianna Benson, and Elizabeth Benson; seven step great-grandchildren; one stepbrother, Vick (Nina) Waits of Holts Summit, Missouri; and a cousin, Don Cooper of Cabool, Missouri.

His mother and stepfather, Ralph Waits, preceded him in death.

He was a United States Air Force veteran.

Willie worked for Caterpillar, Inc. as a fire inspector for 30 years, retiring in 1995. He was a member and past president of the United Plant Guard Workers of America Local 235. He also had served as an assistant regional director for the UPGWA.

He was a member of the Creve Coeur Fire Department for 24 years and had served as an assistant fire chief.

Willie enjoyed working on his 1952 Chevrolet Styleline and took great pride in his yard. He was a St. Louis Cardinals fan. He collected die-cast and model cars and Route 66 memorabilia. Willie had coached Little League baseball and basketball in his earlier years. He and Sharon enjoyed spending time in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas for many years.

Visitation was Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at Preston-Hanley Funeral Home in Pekin. A graveside service was at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, August 26, 2021, at Cabool Cemetery in Cabool. Interment was under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool. Online condolences may be made at