The Automotive Distribution Network is mourning the loss of Wilson McMillion, the co-founder, owner and CEO of W M Automotive Warehouse in Fort Worth, Texas.
McMillion, 86, passed away on July 28 in Fort Worth.
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, president of the Automotive Distribution Network. “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.”
A message on W M Automotive’s website describes McMillion as a “a man of courage, honor and dignity.”
“He was a man who loved deeply, which was rooted in his love of his savior Jesus. He would tell each of us to stay strong and to follow the Golden Rule as we continue the business,” the website says. “We don’t need to be sad but rejoice he has gone to be with his Lord Jesus, Momma and all who have gone before.”