Funeral Mass celebrated for Lorraine McWilliams, longtime Holy Ghost member, lay leader

A funeral Mass was celebrated Nov. 21 at Holy Ghost Church for Mary Lorraine McWilliams, a 40-year member of Holy Ghost who was a volunteer leader for a number of church programs.

Bishop Richard F. Stika was the Mass celebrant, with Father Bill McNeeley, Father Doug Owens, and Father Peter Iorio concelebrating. Deacon Gordy Lowery assisted.

Mrs. McWilliams died Nov. 16 with her sons by her side. She was 88.

Mrs. McWilliams was born on Good Friday, April 3, 1931, in Middlesboro, Ky., where she grew up and graduated from Middlesboro High School as class valedictorian.

She was active at Holy Ghost Parish, where she served on the parish council, led the RCIA program, founded the Sts. Martha and Mary Guild, taught Bible study, and led the parish bereavement committee that provided meals to families following funerals.

She was a lifelong crocheter and enjoyed crocheting baby blankets and other items for the needy as well as her grandchildren and her church family.

Mrs. McWilliams was also active in the community, having served as PTA president at Fountain City Elementary School and was founder of school clinics in North Knoxville. Her interests included contributing Word Search puzzles to Dell Puzzle Magazines.

Mrs. McWilliams was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Jack McWilliams; a daughter, Brenda McWilliams Mason; and her parents, Anthony Lewis and Mary Rose Comparoni Bisceglia.

Her survivors include her three sons, David R. McWilliams and wife Susanne of Winston, Salem, N.C.; Daniel J. McWilliams of Knoxville, who is associate editor of The East Tennessee Catholic newspaper and magazine for the Diocese of Knoxville; Timothy A. McWilliams and wife Desiree of Knoxville; seven grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and a sister, Cheryl Welsh of Mansfield, Ohio. Following the funeral Mass, Mrs. McWilliams was interred at St. Boniface Catholic Church cemetery in Jellico, Ky.

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