Wiley “James” Willis, 74, passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, at his home in Otwell where he lived the last eight years. He lived with his caregiver and guardian Clare Popp, his sister, and her husband, Gary.
James was born March 9, 1945, in Petersburg to Robert and Olive (Frederick) Willis.
James loved nature and wildlife. Butterflies, birds, insects and snakes were his favorites. Also mushroom hunting and camping with family members.
James had Bacterial Spinal Meningitis and Pneumonia at the age of 21 months. This left him mentally handicapped. This disadvantage did not stop him from enjoying life to the fullest. James made lots of friends throughout his life. If you ever met and talked with him, you never forgot him. He loved everyone.
James is survived by two brothers, DeWitt (Donna) Willis of Bedford and Alva (Ella) Willis of Fort Branch; two sisters, Marlene (Jim) Naylor of Columbus and Clare (Gary) Popp of Otwell; and many nieces and nephews that he loved dearly.
He was proceded in death by his parents; one brother, Robert Willis of Greenfield; four sisters, Wanna Lee Day of Monroe City, Imolou Schwoob of Missoula, Montana, Nila Rose Wood of Mendota, Illinois, and Flora Elizabeth “Beth” Butchta of Columbus.
Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, at Harris & Son Funeral Home in Petersburg, with Pastor Lowell Thomas officiating. Burial will follow at Walnut Hills Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 1 p.m. Sunday until the service time at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to Paws of Petersburg.
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