William James Myers

April 16, 1937 – February 16, 2017, 11:30 p.m.
79 years old

Obituary

William James Myers also known as Jimmy, Moose, and Jim passed away on February 16, 2017, at the age of 79.  Jim was a resident of Cocoa Beach, Florida for 27 years and previously resided in Madison Heights and Royal Oak, Michigan for a combined total of 53 years.  Jim died at the Hospice House in Rockledge, Florida, and the cause of death was kidney failure.  Jim was born on April 16, 1937, in Detroit, Michigan to William Earl and Lois Christine (Millsap) Myers.  

Jim is survived by his wife, Patricia Ann (Randolph) who he married on March 4, 1955, in Pontiac, Michigan.  They were married for 61 years.   Jim is also survived by brother Jack Dennis and Penelope (Newbold) Myers of Troy, Michigan and brother and sister-law’s Jimmy Dale and Lawana Kaye (Wilson) of Mishawaka, Indiana, and Michael Aaron and Shirley Fern (Godsey) Randolph of Bethpage, Tennessee.  

Other survivors include his children Felicia Ann (Myers) and James Arthur Smith, Paw Paw, Michigan, William James Randolph (Randy) and Kimberley (Komejan) Myers, Tarpon Springs, Florida, and Dennis Scott and Cindi Ann (Dalian) Myers, Petoskey, Michigan.    Additionally, all of his nine grandchildren survive and include from Michigan Melissa Ann Campbell, Alexandra Ann Myers, Shane Myers, Melissa Ann Myers, and Christian Michael Myers, and from Florida William Matthew Myers, Ryan Glenn Myers, Brett Evan Myers, and Brandon Michael Myers. Jim is also survived by numerous 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cousins and by nieces and nephews including great, great-great, and great, great, great.  

Jim grew up attending Madison Heights District Schools, Madison Heights, Michigan where he was a 1956 graduate.  He played high school football, basketball, baseball, and track and field in high school and received a varsity letter in all sports.  In 1961, he graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Science, where he had received an athletic football scholarship, and in 1976, he received his Master’s of Arts degree from Central Michigan University.

While attending MSU, Jim worked at the Lansing Michigan Boy’s Detention Center from 1958-59.  Upon graduation from MSU, he worked at Madison District Schools, Madison Heights, Michigan first as a junior high (Wilkinson) and a couple of years later, as the high school’s (Madison High) Physical Education teacher.  He also was the assistant and later head football varsity coach, he began the high school’s wrestling program and served as its head coach, and he was also the head track and field coach.  Jim taught and coached for the school district for 25 years.  

Jim was also a professional wrestler and wrestling agent with the WWE.  He began his professional wrestling career first as “The Student” and later as George “The Animal” Steele.  He worked for the WWE for 33 years.  In addition, he was an actor playing the character of Tor Johnson in Tim Burton’s movie Ed Wood in 1994, and starred in various television and print advertisements.  In 2013, he co-authored with Jim Evens his autobiography, Animal:  George “The Animal Steele.    Jim was also a professional speaker and motivator.  In his earlier years, he played semi-pro football for Grand Rapids.  

Jim was a lifetime member of the Michigan State University Varsity Alumni “S” club.  He also was a proud founding member of Madison Community Education Fund, for Madison District Schools.   Jim was a member at First Baptist Church of Merritt Island, Merritt Island, Florida where he received Jesus Christ as his personal savior in 2002, and he was a witness for Jesus Christ.  He was also a spokesperson for Crohn’s disease and Dyslexia.  

Jim was predeceased by his father William Earl on 5/5/1976, his mother Lois Christine (Millsap) Myers on 7/2/1997, his father and mother-in-law James Luther on 9/1/1997, and Jonnie Melissa (Tucker) Randolph on 2/8/82, and a number of cousins.

Jim will be remembered as a devoted, loving, and exceptional man to all of those whose life he has touched.  

A Memorial Service will be announced at a later date.  Memorial donations in Jim Myers or George “The Animal” Steele’s name are suggested and that they are contributed to the tax deductible 501-3C which Jim assisted in starting at:  Madison Community Education Fund, Madison District Schools, 26524 John R Rd., Madison Heights, MI 48071.

Eulogy

 by Felicia Ann Myers Smith and read to my daddy on February 16th, 2017, shortly after noon

My daddy has been known by different names and titles.  When he asked me to speak at his funeral, I went to his office, which also serves as a guest room and cried in agony for I didn’t know what to say or how in the world, if I could find the perfect words, I could ever get them out.  Through my tears and absorption of the words and images on his wall, it occurred to me that much of my daddy’s life was highlighted on his office wall.  Therefore, I offer the following:

William James Myers also known as son, grandson, nephew, and cousin

Also known as Jimmie, brother, student, and friend

Also known as Moose Myers, boyfriend, husband, high school all-state athlete, brother-in-law, son-in-law and daddy

Also known as MSU football player, college student, highway construction worker, a proud dad again, and MSU graduate

Also known as semi pro football player, uncle, juvenile detention worker, and jokester

Also known as high school gym teacher, a lover of fun, a kid lover –both young and old, a motivator, and again a proud dad

Also known as the masked professional wrestler The Student, magician and trickster, and gimmick seeker and gimmick player

Also known as high school head wrestling coach, the Mark of the Fish giver, head track coach, assistant football coach, mentor, Michigan Athletic Association’s Coach of the Year for wrestling, and a great and gifted provider

Also known as head football coach, Central Michigan University Master’s degree holder, Michigan Athletic Association’s Coach of the Year for football,  popular professional wrestler George the Animal Steele with his MINE stuffed doll, green tongue, turnbuckle eater, father-in-law, and grandpa, nine times over

Also known as an actor playing the part of Tor in Tim Burton’s movie “Ed Wood” and starring in various TV and print commercials

Also known as an inductee to both the Michigan Coaches Hall of Fame and the WWF/WWE’s Wrestling Hall of Fame

Also known as a WWF/WWE agent, and co-author of his autobiography

Also known as a spokesperson for Chron’s disease and dyslexia, a motivational speaker, and a warrior and peacemaker for Jesus Christ

Also known as a brother in his church and a witness for Jesus Christ

My daddy was always ALL IN regardless of the task or adventure in front of him.

Of all the pictures, awards, print commercials, newspaper articles, and plaques that hang on his office wall, a framed poem that I had read at a family special occasion to my parents screamed out to me because I realized that this poem spoke to all of those whose lives my father’s path has crossed.  I would like to read it to you and please know that I, and I’m certain my father would agree, that this poem pertains not only to my beautiful, wonderful, supportive and loving mom, but to all of us who have loved and cared for him as he has for you.   It is titled “Better Together” written by William L. Coleman.

Whatever the two of you encounter in life, you will face it better together.  When you laugh, or dream, or watch a sunset, you will do it better together.

When you work to make a home, to make plans, to solve problems, you will do it better together.  When you cry because of disappointments and sadness, you will do it better together.

When you look beyond yourselves and worship God, you will do it better together.  With each milestone you pass in life, you will be able to look back and say, “It has been better together.”

I would like to say at this time that regardless of your relationship with my daddy, we have ALL been better together.

Peace and God bless.