Cover photo for William H. McAdams Jr.'s Obituary
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1928 William 2023

William H. McAdams Jr.

October 7, 1928 — September 5, 2023


William Hardy McAdams Jr., (affectionately known as “Mac”) 94, of Moline, IL departed this life on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, at his home surrounded by his children.

Funeral services will be held Friday, September 15, 2023, at 11:00 am at Tabernacle Baptist Church 2601-15th Street, Moline, IL 61265.  Visitation will be Thursday, September 14th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, 6601-38th Avenue, Moline, IL, as well as an hour before the service on Friday at the church. The burial will be at the National Cemetery, Rock Island Arsenal.

William was born October 7, 1928, in Moline, Illinois, to William Hardy Sr., and Helen M. (Davis) McAdams. William came to know Christ at an early age and was baptized at Tabernacle Baptist Church.

He received his education from Garfield Elementary School, John Deere Jr High, where he received the American Legion Award in 1943, and graduated with Honors, from Moline High School in 1947. While at Moline High School he participated in football, track, and basketball, lettering in those sports.  While at Moline High School he had many achievements. He was President Student Mayor, involved in the Civic and Lettermen’s Club.

In 1947 he started his college career at the University of Iowa. While at the university, he pledged Kappa Alpha Psi, Gamma Chapter where he was a Polemarch (President). William left school to serve his country, but later returned and graduated from the University of Iowa.

He served in the United States Army, where he was stationed in France and Germany. While in Germany he tutored the American soldier’s children in mathematics.

In 1952, he married his sweetheart, the love of his life, Charlotte Ann Nabors, and from that union they had nine daughters and one son.

After his military service, William worked at John Deere, the United States Post Office, and various jobs, until he became a Foreman at International Harvester (IH) in East Moline, Illinois where he retired after 25 years. He continued his work ethic at Seventh District Department of Corrections, Davenport, IA as a Correctional Officer for 10 years. While he worked full-time, he would still go to Spencer Towers in Rock Island every morning to make breakfast for his mother, then returned at night to have dinner with her, all the while remaining a loyal husband, great father and grandfather.

When he was completely retired, William became a full-time coffee maker and chauffeur for his wife Charlotte.  In between driving “Miss Daisy” (Charlotte), he was an avid reader, historian, Iowa Hawkeye fan and photographer. He enjoyed getting a new camera and taking pictures of his family and nature.

William loved spending time with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and making his famous pancakes for the family. On some Saturday mornings he would load his children into the “Station Wagon” or “Scout” and take road trips, to places like House on the Rock, Maquoketa Caves or Dickson Mounds State Museum.

William also enjoyed going to the Drake Relays in late April in Des Moines, IA. In mid-May he would take his wife and daughters to Eastern Illinois IHSA Girls State Track and Field meet whereas his daughters would participate, and Charlotte would officiate the track and field events.

He enjoyed playing the piano and listening to classical music. On many occasions you would hear him whistling a classical tune around the house from one of the songs on the radio.

He was a member of The Rock Island County Historical Society, a member of the Rock Island Martin Luther King Center’s Active Club. He also enjoyed gathering with his friends at the Dead Poet’s Espresso coffee house in Moline.

In 2023, his story was published in a book titled “Memories of The Great Depression: A Time Remembered,” by Judge John O’Shea. He also compiled the books called “Death Index: African Americans and Others in the Rock Island, Illinois area”, also known as The Red Books.

William had many funny sayings that he would say to the family on a regular basis such as: “He who travels alone travels fastest” “A hard head makes a soft behind,” and “Don’t let your attitude get in the way of your appetite”.

Those left to cherish his memories include his children, Rochelle (Mark) Thornton, Valerie (Rev. Dr. David) Jarrett, Charlotte (Donald) Harrison, Frances (Royal) Foreman, Katherine McAdams, Stacey McAdams, Kenny (Michelle) McAdams, Adrienne Walker, Lesley McAdams, and Kelley (Aubrey) Clay, his brother, Rev. David McAdams, his sister, Helen Allen, and his cousins Gilbert Davis and Elaine Chisholm, who were like a little brother and sister to him, a brother-in-law Robert Davis his  grandchildren, great grandchildren, and a host of nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Charlotte, his father (William H. McAdams Sr.), mother (Helen M. McAdams), grandchildren Erica Lynn McAdams and Mykael Jamal Harrison, son-in-law Kearney Walker, brother-in-law Joe Allen, sister-in-law Rev. Juanita McAdams.

The family would like to give special thanks to Collen Davis, Mason Meents, Dr. Thomas Ade and his staff, and Compassus Hospice during his care.

Memories may be shared on the tribute wall.

To send flowers to the family in memory of William H. McAdams Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, September 15, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am

Tabernacle Baptist Church, Moline

2601 15th Street, Moline, IL 61265

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Funeral Service

Friday, September 15, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am

Tabernacle Baptist Church, Moline

2601 15th Street, Moline, IL 61265

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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