Willie George McIntosh, a longtime Democratic politician from Washington Park, died early Tuesday morning after a three-year bout with cancer. He was 78.
McIntosh, whose political nickname was “Big Mac,” died about 6 a.m. at his home in Washington Park, according to his friend Ray Coleman.
McIntosh was a former crane operator and is an Air Force veteran. He owned Mac's Package Liquor on 38th Street and St. Clair Avenue in Washington Park.
McIntosh was introduced to politics by his lifelong friend, Roy Mosley, Coleman said. They were childhood and best friends. "They've known each other since elementary school," Coleman said. Mosley could not be reached.
McIntosh started as a park commissioner in 1985 and stayed there until 1989. He became a St. Clair County Board member in 1996 and in 1997, he became the chairman of the Canteen Democratic organization. He was the Canteen Precinct 10 committeeman since 1987. He also served on the Washington Park Village Board for eight years.
"He loved politics," Coleman said. "In his last days, when he was able to communicate, politics was what kept him alive ... kept him motivated. It just kept him going," Coleman said.
"He had many friends who called him Daddy. They were no kin to him, just friends, but he was like a father to so many people. He was like a father or the big brother I never had. He expected to hear from me everyday whether he called me or not. And, I tried to make it happen," Coleman said.
McIntosh was married to Joan McIntosh, a former Washington Park board member and a current member on the St. Clair County Board. He has six children, one of whom, Carolyn Williams, was a member of the Washington Park board until she was defeated in the recent April election.
"He will be missed by so many people," Coleman said.
Funeral arrangements for McIntosh are pending at Officer Funeral Home.