The Automotive Distribution Network is mourning the loss of an icon in the auto-care industry, Wilson Maurice McMillion, 86, who passed away July 28 in Fort Worth, Texas. The co-founder, owner and CEO of W M Automotive, McMillion will be remembered as a family man, a man of faith and a successful businessman whose office door was always open to anyone who worked for the Fort Worth-based Parts Plus member.
“Wilson McMillion was a true American original, a self-made man whose character, integrity, faith and love of his family inspired everyone who knew him,” said David Prater, Network president. “We have a lost a dear friend who always put faith and family first while building W M Automotive from a small operation with less than 10 folks working for him in 1976 to a successful full-line warehouse with two distribution centers, several retail stores and nearly 300 full-time employees. Our thoughts are with the entire McMillion family.”
Born on Sept. 23, 1931, to a family of sharecroppers in Midlothian, Texas, McMillion learned the value of a strong work ethic at an early age. After beginning his career as a 19-year-old parts puller for a local warehouse, McMillion was 45 when he and his first wife, Pat, started their own business, investing a few thousand dollars they’d saved and borrowing the rest from family.
Of those lean years in W M’s history, McMillion later said, “It was never a question of whether or not we were going to make it work – we had to make it work. This was my life, the one thing I had. And I had to put food on the table for my family. Along with three other employees, our family knew we had to put in long hours to make it work, so we rolled up our sleeves and did it.”
For information on Wilson McMillion’s funeral arrangements, visit wmautomotive.com.