Cover photo for Donald Ray Willis's Obituary
Donald Ray Willis Profile Photo

Donald Ray Willis

d. May 22, 2022

Donald R. Willis is singing the Eyes of Texas within the pearly gates today. After a long struggle, he danced his way into Jesus’ arms on Sunday evening, May 22, 2022, just shy of his 80th birthday. Don was born on June 27, 1942, in Knoxville, Tennessee to parents Victoria and Fred Willis. He spent his childhood and youth in southern Illinois with parents and older brother Fred (deceased; Judie, also deceased). He is greatly missed by his wife Carol Humphries Willis, one child David Ashley Willis (Johanna), grandsons Gene (14) and Niki (11); nieces Tammy Iskarous (Reda) from Illinois, Michelle Ingrham (Gary) from Florida, nephew Brian Willis, Illinois. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and uncle. In high school Don visited his older sister June Pearce (Marshal), in Corpus Christi, Texas and became the “sports uncle” to niece Marsha Kay (Tommy) James and nephew Gary Pearce (Debbie); he returned for college and graduated from the University of Texas in 1964. His three best friends, Jerry Hampton (Judy), Robin LeBleu (Betsy) and Jim Johnson (Carolyn) have remained lifelong friends. Stories from college, Longhorn football, bridge games and Texas barbecue were a part of every reunion. Hook ‘em Horns! He was blessed. In 1973 Don met Carol Humphries Shirley from Mobile, Alabama in Texas; they married a year later and then stayed for 35 years before moving to the Eastern Shore of Mobile thirteen years ago. They enjoyed movies on Friday nights, UT Austin football games, travel to Europe, Mexico, and North Carolina, especially; family trips, spending time with their beloved grandchildren, and dinner parties with many friends. The Friends in Faith Sunday School class of Fairhope United Methodist Church in Fairhope, Alabama became his best friends in every way — spiritually and socially: taking beach trips (playing lots of bridge), attending outdoor concerts, a men’s breakfast group, dinner parties, talking trash football, and a cruise in January when Covid 19 hit! Don’s celebration service will be held on Tuesday, May 31 at 1:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of the Fairhope United Methodist Church on Section Street in Fairhope, Alabama. Visitation will be in the sanctuary at 1:00 p.m. and at the reception in Wesley Hall following the service. He can be honored by your contributions to Riverbend Family Ministries, 144 E Ferguson Avenue, Wood River, Illinois 62095 where his niece Tammy Iskarous is Executive Director and Founder. Riverbend Family Ministries vision is to provide resources for smaller non-profit organizations to work together under one roof, providing families and individuals the tools they need to be self-sufficient. We concentrate our collaborative, holistic efforts on children, youth and families who’ve experienced trauma, most often due to violence, addiction, poverty and homelessness. Contributions to the FIF class at Fairhope United Methodist Church are also welcomed.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life Memorial Service

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

1:00 - 1:30 pm (Central time)

Fairhope United Methodist Church

155 South Section Street, Fairhope, AL 36532

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