We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Brown Funeral Home
Joseph Darwin “Joe” Willis, 89, passed away on June 15, 2022 due to pulmonary complications in Jacksonville, Florida. He was born on August 28, 1932 in Del Rio, Tennessee to Emerson and C.L Willis.
Joe grew up in Del Rio where at the age of 16, he walked Lois Seay home from church, starting a life journey that would extend to nearly 69 years of marriage.
Joe joined the Air Force February 26, 1953, and was honorably discharged February 25, 1957. Highest honors: Served during Korean Conflict; Highest rank- Airman First Class. Basic Training- Lackland A.F.B. San Antonio, TX, Aircraft Engine Technology School, Shephard A.F.B, Wichita Falls, TX, Assigned 376 Field Maintenance Squad Barksdale, A.F.B. Shreveport, LA. T.D.Y. tours to North Africa and Labrador, Canada.
After the Air Force, Joe worked in the local area paper mills in Pasadena, TX and Jacksonville, FL; returning to Del Rio in 1966 to work at Magnavox, Greeneville, TN and Enka, Morristown, TN. In 1971, Joe and his family returned to northeast Florida as he pursued a career in plumbing; retiring in 1995.
After retirement, Joe and his wife Lois traveled with friends and family out west and to Alaska. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and hosting friends and relatives at their secondary home in the mountains of Del Rio, TN.
He is survived by his loving wife Lois Willis Yulee, Florida; his children: Teresa McIntyre Raleigh, NC; Joseph Darwin Willis Jr Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Vida Willis Yulee, Florida and brothers: Lester Willis, Parrottsville, TN and MacArthur Willis, Del Rio, TN. Joe was known as Papa to his grandchildren Megan Elise McIntyre and Joseph Arron Willis.
The funeral will take place at 7PM Thursday, June 23, 2022 at Brown Funeral Home. The family will receive friends from 5PM to 7PM prior to the service. Burial is scheduled for 10:30AM Friday, June 24, 2022 at the Jonestown Cemetery in Del Rio. Family & friends may also offer condolences online at www.brownfuneralhomenewport.com
Brown Funeral Home is honored to serve the Willis family.