Obituary for Willie Edward McGhee at Carl E. Ponds Funeral Home Inc.


Willie Edward McGhee

December 4, 1943 – December 30, 2022

U.S. Veteran


Willie Edward McGhee departed this earthly life on December 30, 2022. He was born December 4, 1943 in Belzoni, MS to Mary Alice Smith and Curtis McGhee. Willie was lovingly nurtured by his maternal grandparents, Ellen & Henry Wells, and was nicknamed & affectionately known as “Peaches” to his family.

Willie accepted Christ at an early age, serving at Christian Valley Baptist Church in Mississippi. He moved to Rockford in 1963 and joined Providence Missionary Baptist Church, where he diligently served for more than 45 years in various positions including Usher, Trustee, Sunday School Teacher, and Bible Study Instructor. Meeting at Providence, in 1967 Willie married his wife of 55 years, Beatrice, after he returned from serving in the Army during the Vietnam War.


Professionally, Willie worked for 30+ years as a Production Electrician for Greenlee and Ingersoll where he traveled to erect/troubleshoot machinery and train staff across the country. He was an avid learner and had a great thirst for knowledge and was often found in his home studying the Bible, reading, or showcasing his library full of books. And if you stayed around him for any length of time, you might have received one of his life lessons, a Bible lecture, a book from his collection, a hug, or a challenge for he was the ultimate teacher and a leader’s leader. He loved spending time in his gardening, fishing, and never met a stranger. But his pride and joy were leading, inspiring, and championing his family.


Willie was proceeded in death by his mother, Mary Alice Smith Cummings; father, Curtis McGhee; stepfather, JB Cummings Sr.; stepmother, Willie Lee McGhee; brother, Clyde Cummings. Willie leaves to cherish many loving memories his devoted wife, Beatrice McGhee; their three children, Kenneth (Rhonda) McGhee, Kassandra McGhee, Kurt (LaShun) McGhee; five grandchildren, Brittany, Kirshaun, Brianna, Kendric, Brandon; siblings, Mary Burrell, Ruthie (Zeke) Ball, Ivory Cummings, JB (Molly) Cummings, Roosevelt Cummings, Robert Cummings, Frankie Green, Linda Black, Trounia (Kenneth) Hill; goddaughters, Bridget (Vernon) Sims, Amber (Christian) Kidd; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, “adopted” children, close family friends, and his beloved Providence Missionary Baptist Church family.


Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 7, 2023 at Providence Missionary Baptist Church 2209 Clifton Avenue. Visitation will be held from 8 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery. Arrangements completed by Carl E. Ponds Funeral Home Inc. 200 N. Johnson Avenue.


Saturday, January 7, 2023
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Providence Baptist Church

2209 Clifton Ave

Rockford, Illinois 61102
Funeral Service

Saturday, January 7, 2023
10:00 AM

Providence Baptist Church

2209 Clifton Ave

Rockford, Illinois 61102

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