Donald L. Willis

Published 11:07 am Thursday, December 16, 2010

Donald L. Willis died Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010, at the Central Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. He was 89.

Born and reared in Billings, Missouri, Don enlisted in the U.S. Navy when he was 17 years of age, serving as Aircraft Ord nance Man Chief during his service in World War II and the Korean Conflict. After 20 years active service, he worked at China Lake Naval Weapons Station, Ridgecrest, Calif., retiring in 1976. Don was a member of the American Legion, U.S. Navy Institute, Navy League of the United States and was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was a Baptist.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Harvey Robert and Elsie Garoutte Willis; his first wife, Leola Anderson Willis; two brothers, Jack Willis and James Willis; and a stepson, Don A. Smith Sr.

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Don is survived by his wife, Faye Moulder Smith Willis of Vicksburg; two daughters, Barbara Harrington and Celeste Eubank, both of Eugene, Ore.; two sons, Stephen L. Willis of Lakeland, Ga., and Robert J. Willis Sr. of Selah, Wash.; two stepsons, George E. Smith Jr. of Bellevue, Wash., and Jack B. Smith of Vicksburg; and 13 grandchildren, seven stepgrandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be at 3 p.m. today, Dec. 16, 2010, at the Chapel of Glenwood Funeral Home with the Rev. Mike Fields. Visitation will be from 2 p.m. until the hour of the service. There will be a Navy Burial at Sea at a later date in the Pacific, where he faithfully served this country during his Navy career.