John Michael (Mike) Williford

John Michael (Mike) Williford passed away September 17, 2015. He was born September 7, 1950 in  Birmingham, Alabama. He attended Banks High School in Birmingham and then Brainerd High School, after moving to Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1966. He graduated from University of Tennessee-Chattanooga in Health Physics and completed his Masters in Nuclear Engineering at Texas A & M University. Since the mid 1980’s Mike lived in the Houston, Texas area and retired in 2013 from the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Mike was predeceased by his parents, Blake and Grace Williford, and sister, Becky Burnette (Mikie). He is survived by a brother, Avert Williford (Donna), and sister, Kathy Guin (Bill). Mike had an amazing memory, a gentle spirit and was well liked by everyone. Memorials may be made to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas or your favorite charity.





  1. We’re SO sorry for the family’s loss of a wonderful brother, cousin, and a really special person. Mike was SO much fun to be with! We’ll never forget the many good times we had with him, and all his family! We’re all SO glad that he visited with us just recently! It was a very special experience and he seemed to enjoy it as much as we did! We look forward to getting together to help say “good-bye” to Mike in the near future! Our thoughts, prayers and love go out to you all in this immensely sad and stressful time! Love you all!
    Joan Williford Cox

    Joan Williford Cox
  2. I was shocked to hear of Mike’s passing. I had been friends with him since 1970. We met in the Physics library at the Univ of Tenn at Chatt. We went to Tex A & M Univ together, went our separate ways afterwards, and then ended up in Houston about the same time. We had a lot of good times together. Mike was good to me over the years. He was over to my house for dinner just 20 days before he died and I went to his birthday party 10 days before he died. Mike talked a lot about his family. I wish I could go to his memorial service. I would like to meet you all but I probably will not be able to come. I know he was a good brother, cousin, uncle, and friend. May God comfort you all in your loss.

    Pat Cox

    Patricia (Pat) Cox
  3. My heart is saddened to learn of cousin Mike’s death. I remember the fun times we all had at Grandmother and Grandaddy Williford’s. I hope your treasured memories will bring comfort and peace in the days to follow. Prayers for the family and friends continue.

    Marjanne Williford Willis

    Marjanne Willis
  4. Mike was my very close and dear friend that I have known since we were seniors at Brainerd High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Over the years we stayed in close contact with each other and even after Mike moved from Chattanooga to Seabrook around 1980, I visited with his parents at their home whenever I returned to Chattanooga.
    Even though we lived in separate states, Mike and I were able to visit with each other frequently over the years. The last time I saw Mike was less than two years ago when he drove to Las Vegas and stayed with me for about four weeks around Thanksgiving. Over the decades we remained in constant contact via the telephone, and if you know Mike, the calls often lasted for several hours. He will be greatly missed.

    Stephen Newell
  5. Mike was a good friend of mine. We would talk for hours on such varied topics as World War 2, rare coins, and roof construction. He was always ready to help Amanda or Pat and we will miss him dearly.

    Edward Black
  6. Mike Williford was a wonderful teammate on our Environmental Health & Safety team at MD Anderson Cancer Center. We still use many of the processes he developed while he was here. I know our team will be saddened to hear about his passing. Mike always had a great story to share with us. He will be missed. Our condolences to his family.

    Matt Berkheiser
  7. I am very sad to hear of Mike’s death. Mike and I worked together at M. D. Anderson for many years. Mike had a great deal of technical theoretical and practical knowledge in radiation safety (health physics) which he knew how to apply as needed, and often in an unusually adept way, in a large medical institutional environment. As, or more, importantly, Mike could explain rather complicated concepts and procedures in a manner easily understood by persons with no technical background as well as his colleagues. Mike always had a cheerful and friendly attitude. It was a pleasure to know him. My condolences to his family.

    Bud Norton
    • Hi Bud,

      Mike taught a class that MD Anderson required for all new employees and concluded it with a test they all had to pass. If they passed they received a certificate that you signed. I have a nuclear background but not in Health Physics. I asked Mike to let me take the test. He did. I only missed 2 questions. Mike was impressed. I told Mike I wanted my certificate. I always use to ask, “Well, did you tell Bud that I passed and that I want my certificate?” Of course he said “No”.

      Mike was good at explaining stuff whether it was in science or history. He could go on for hours.

      Pat Cox, Mike’s friend since college days

      Patricia (Pat) Coix
  8. I was surprised to hear that Mike passed away. I give my condolences to the family. Mike was a very nice guy. I met him through Pat last year. I wish I could have had more time to get to know him better.

    Elenor Taylor

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