Dianne English McWilliams, age 81, a resident of Montgomery, passed away on March 16, 2021, after being ill for several months. She is survived by her husband of nearly 46 years, John Harvey McWilliams III and their only child, John Harvey McWilliams IV (Sarah) of Montgomery. Other survivors include her sister Gaylin English-Young of New York, NY, her brothers Walter Gavin English, Jr., and Stephen Wayne English of Mobile, AL. She is also survived by her two grandchildren, Anna Elizabeth McWilliams and Alice Easterly McWilliams of Montgomery.
Born in Mobile, Alabama, Mrs. McWilliams graduated from Murphy High School, and attended Birmingham-Southern College for two years before receiving her undergraduate degree in English from Spring Hill College. In college, she was a member of the Kappa Delta Sorority. She also received a master’s degree from the University of Alabama. Mrs. McWilliams dedicated her fifty year career to the teaching of English both at the collegiate and high school level. She taught at Davidson High School in Mobile and at a community college in Macon, Georgia, prior to her over three-decade career at Wallace Community College in Selma, Alabama. While at WCCS, Mrs. McWilliams was the founder of The Writing Place, an on-campus writing center. Mrs. McWilliams was also the founder of an Honors English program at Morgan Academy in Selma, and she spent the final eight years of her career as a colleague of her son at The Montgomery Academy in Montgomery, Alabama. As a teacher, Mrs. McWilliams was known for her tireless efforts to help her students develop their skills as writers. She was also passionate about the study of literature, particularly British literature. In 2003, Mrs. McWilliams was recognized as a Joseph B. Whitehead Educator of Distinction.
In her retirement, Mrs. McWilliams loved spending time with her family, particularly her beloved husband and two grandchildren. She also enjoyed participating in the Bible Study Fellowship, watching British TV shows and researching family history.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to The Montgomery Academy, First United Methodist Church, the Stegall Seminary Scholarship Endowment Foundation, or the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
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