George R. McWilliams, 79, of Wayne, a retired GE engineer, died from complications of mesothelioma Dec. 22 at home.

After 20 years with Burroughs Corp., Mr. McWilliams joined General Electric's aerospace division in Valley Forge in 1983. For the next 10 years, he helped develop robotics technology and worked on military projects for the Strategic Defense Initiative, or "Star Wars." After retiring in 1993, he was a consultant for GE for two years.

Mr. McWilliams graduated from Glen-Nor High School, where he met his future wife, Doris Stegmuller. He served in the Marine Corps in China at the end of World War II.

After his discharge, he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from Drexel University.

Mr. McWilliams, an Eagle Scout, was a Boy Scout leader and merit-badge counselor for Troop 106 in Devon. He was a Republican committeeman in Tredyffrin Township. For 25 years, he was an elder, trustee, and Sunday school teacher at Great Valley Presbyterian Church in Malvern.

He enjoyed socializing with friends on summer vacations in Ocean Grove, N.J., his daughter Melinda Bauers said, and attending his grandchildren's sports games.

In addition to his wife of 55 years and daughter, Mr. McWilliams is survived by another daughter, Carol; a brother; and three grandchildren. A son, George, died in 1994.

The funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at Wayne Presbyterian Church, 125 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, Pa. 19087. Donations may be made to the church Sunday School.