James A. Willis, Sr., age 85, and long term resident of Cedaredge, Colorado, died on Tuesday, August 6, 2013. Jim and his wife of 18 years, Lila Willis, spent their winters in Casa Grande, Arizona.
Jim was born on December 12th, 1927 in Elbridge, Obion County, Tennessee to Mola Loudell (Wolfe) and Reece Porter Willis. He was the youngest of seven, with 4 older sisters and 2 older brothers. He lost his parents and two sisters at an early age and his other sisters and brothers died in the last 20 years.
Jim served a short time in the army at the end of World War II and then met his wife of 46 years, Margery Trewet Willis, who died in 1993. He worked on her family’s farm in Fort Morgan, CO for a number of years and then went out to explore other business opportunities.
His natural business ability served him well while he worked at Hill Oil Company in Fort Morgan and then ran Boulware Oil Company in Sheridan Lake, CO. In 1964, he moved to Alamosa and opened Willis Oil Company. In his later years, he owned additional businesses, including the auto parts store in Cedaredge and sold real estate.
Jim was active in the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks and the Shriners International. He enjoyed riding three wheelers with his Shriners’ brothers to raise money for the Shriners Children’s Hospitals. Jim also enjoyed riding snowmobiles with his four sons. He was instrumental in raising funds to build the DeerCreek Village Golf Course in Cedaredge. Jim spent his senior years playing golf, cards, biking, and running. He was well known for his love of hunting golf balls.
Jim is survived by his five children, Kathryn Wohnoutka and her husband, George, Katy, TX; James Willis, Jr., Alamosa, CO; Robert Willis and his wife, Karen, Del Norte, CO; John Willis and his wife, Lora, Grass Valley, CA; and Steve Willis and his wife Kimberly, Friendswood, TX; and his three step sons, Dean Peters and his wife, Sandy, Minneapolis, MN, Jeffrey Peters, and Richard Peters, both of Mankato, MN. He has 10 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren, and was the beloved uncle to numerous nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Funeral 2:00 p.m. Friday, August 9, 2013 Cedaredge Community United Methodist Church with Vicki Street officiating. Interment will be at the Cedaredge Cemetery.
Visiting hours are 6 – 8 p.m. Thursday, August 8, 2013 at the Taylor Funeral Service Chapel 105 S. E. Frontier Suite F Cedaredge, CO 81413
Memorials in his name may be made to Cedaredge Community United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 396, Cedaredge, CO 81413, Pioneer Town, P.O. Box 906, Cedaredge, CO 81413, or Shriners Hospitals for Children®, Office of Development 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory.
View the internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at taylorfuneralservice.com.