Obituary – Hobart F. McWilliams


Hobart F. McWilliams, 94, died of natural causes on Sunday, August 22, 2021 at his Havre residence.

The cremation took place at Hobart’s request. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at Bozeman United Methodist Church.

Please visit Hobart’s online memorial page and leave a message of condolence for his family at http://www.hollandbonine.com.

Hobart was born on May 13, 1927 in Dayton, Ohio, to Willard and Ruth (Eckenbrecht) McWilliams. He grew up in Dayton and graduated from high school there.

After graduating, he joined the US Navy, served a year, and then moved to the Merchant Navy. After his honorable discharge, he attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and two master’s degrees in engineering. He was a member of the Tau Beta Pi brotherhood for engineering students.

After graduating, he stayed in Dallas for several years and married Anita Turnbull in 1964. A few years later they moved to Salt Lake City, UT, and their two children were born there. They moved to Bozeman a few years later, and Hobart soon became a professor in the electrical engineering department at Montana State University, a position he held until he was 71. At that time he retired on medical grounds. He and Anita enjoyed camping and traveling for several years until their deaths in 2003.

In 2005, Hobart Fairy married Elizabeth Cox in Whitefish and they made their home in Bozeman. They enjoyed hosting their many friends and family and visiting the Methodist Church together. Camping in nearby mountains and national parks was also part of her life. But for 19 years Hobart made his special trip to the Yukon Territory every fall, and Fairy Elizabeth sometimes went with him. This became a ritual for Hobart and he made some very special friends there.

Hobart got a big family when he married Fairy Elizabeth. Not only their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but also their brothers and their families. Hobart enjoyed having brothers as he did not have his own.

In 2019 they moved to Havre to be close to Fairy Elizabeth’s family, and there he died after being lovingly cared for by his family.

In death he was preceded by his first wife, Anita McWilliams; Parents, Willard and Ruth McWilliams; and sister Doris Bodenmiller.

Hobart is survived by his wife, the fairy Elizabeth McWilliams of Havre; Children, Mary Alice (Corey) Carlson of Cassleberry, FL, and Scott (Kristin) McWilliams of Woodbury, MN; Grandson Maxwell McWilliams; Stepchildren, Karen Tuck, Kris Shaw and Chuck, Dave, James and Rob Cox; numerous step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.

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