Jimmy Dean Williams
Jimmy Dean Williams, famously known as Big Cat, put his big black Caddy on cruise control, cranked up the Beach Boys, exhausted what seemed to be a fair share more than his allotted nine lives and jived to the middle of the Lord’s dance floor on March 15th, 2020.
Big Cat’s story began March 30th, 1949, when Jimmy burst onto the scene in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, to the great delight of his adoring parents, Earl and Bette Jo Williams. The family soon decided that “P-Vine” couldn’t contain them, so they moved to McAlester, Oklahoma. In Big Mac, Jimmy discovered girls and Isle of Capri’s Italian cuisine, which shaped his formative years and resulted in a voracious lifelong appetite for food, drink, and making memories.
Jimmy graduated a proud Buffalo from McAlester High School but not before wreaking havoc on the football field, baseball diamond, golf course, and most often, school halls. He ultimately took his football talents to Southeastern Oklahoma University, where he discovered his actual superpowers were off the gridiron. Specifically, Jimmy carried the extraordinary ability to harness his personality to make friends no matter the situation, make hard work look effortless, and to persuade anyone he met.
Jimmy’s exceptional gifts became unmistakable after taking a summer job at an automobile dealership. It was on a single fateful day in July that he sold more than a dozen cars, and academia lost a scholar to that ornery muse called the car business. However, before pursuing his entrepreneurial dreams, Jimmy first served his country as an active Army serviceman deployed in Germany. An experience that further bolstered his love of America and wiener schnitzel.
Upon arriving home, Jimmy wasted no time launching his career in the auto business. His mastery of the spotlight and knack for creating clever, auspicious publicity stunts and television commercials catapulted him from a small “tote the note” used car lot owner to a marquee new car dealer on the Magnificent Mile of Cars. For the last five decades, Jimmy reveled in owning a fleet of dealerships and trading everything from general stores, bowling alleys, and restaurants to horses, coffee shops, and an awful lot of wisecracks.
Jimmy was passionate about the Oklahoma Sooners, his son’s music and Hawaii. He especially loved taking his family and friends to Maui, where he could always be trusted to find the freshest ahi tuna, biggest Hula Pie, and best boat drinks. Make sure to raise a toast to Big Cat the next time you visit Lahaina Grill!
Among Jimmy’s greatest sources of pride was raising his grandson, Reid. Thanks to Reid, Big Cat transformed into “Pops” and found a miniaturized version of himself which kindled a vitality and dedication that inspired everyone who witnessed them prowling the streets of Oak Tree.
Most of all, Jimmy was a committed follower of Jesus who put Christ first in his life. He joyfully shared his love whenever the opportunity presented itself. He is survived by his devoted wife, Marty, children BJ and Creede, daughter-in-law Lori, and three grandchildren, Reid (13), Creede Hudson (12), and Charlotte (9). Also survived by nephew Shawn Williams; niece Blake Hunter; the mother of his children, Cindy Speake-Williams; aunt Bobbie Lanz and husband Bob. Jimmy was preceded in death by his grandson, Jimmy Liam; brother, Denny; and parents Bette Jo and Earl Williams.
Big Cat leaves a legacy of kindness, generosity, and mammoth laughter. His family and friends remember him as a fearless, fun-loving, light on his feet, sing at the top of his lungs, gentle giant, and an endless source of unconditional love and bravery.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Crossings Community Church on Monday, August 2, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Boys Ranch Town-Edmond, 5100 E. 33rd St., Edmond, OK 73013. Click the following link to live stream the service https://vimeo.com/580406682/9c045e640f