A memorial service for Lewis “L.J.” Willis, 80, is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, September 8th in the First Christian Church of Durant, 301 N. 3rd. He died Thursday, August 30, at Medical Center of Southeastern in Durant.
He was born in Ardmore, Ok, November 19, 1931. His parents were Lewis J. Willis and Vada Milam Willis who moved to Durant in 1935.
A 1950 graduate of Durant High School, Lewis was a member of the 45th Division of the Army National Guard. Immediately after his graduation, his division was mobilized and sent to Korea where he was a sergeant, battalion radio chief. After leaving Korea he was sent to Japan.
Following his service, and honorable discharge, he was hired by the F.B.I. and worked for them in Dallas and Springfield, Mo.
After moving back to Dallas, he worked as buyer and salesman for Sanger Harris. Then, he was controller for the sales division of Zales Jewelry.
He owned Lamps Et Cetera, Inc., in Rockwall, Texas. Following that, he worked for Spaghetti Warehouse as a buyer and decorator. Before retirement, he was a salesman for Bailey, Banks and Biddle, in Dallas.
In December 2001, he married Marlene Howard and moved to Durant, their hometown. His wife survives him at home.
He is also survived by a son, Michael Willis and his wife, Susi, of Nashville, Tennessee. He is survived by a daughter, Michelle Salmans, and her husband, John, of Emory, Texas.
Also surviving is a sister, Barbara Elliott, and her husband George, of Plano, Texas. His parents and two sisters predeceased him.
Other survivors are grandchildren, Ashlea Patterson, and husband, Chris of Nashville. Grandson, Ben Dennis and his wife, Leslie, of Little Elm, Texas, Amanda Juneau and her husband, Geoff, of Plano, Texas, and Mr. Willis’ great-grandchildren, Anna and Zack Juneau.
Numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends survive him. Family and friends may send online condolences and view tributes at www.holmescoffeymurray.com.
Services are under the direction of Holmes-Coffey-Murray Funeral Home, Durant, Oklahoma.