White Gene Willis, 81, of Mesa, AZ passed away on 7/28/2014. Gene was born in Dunham, KY on 9/15/1932 to parents Ernest and Louise White. He grew up in Jenkins, KY where he attended high school and played trombone in the band. Gene graduated from Ohio State University with a BS degree in 1959. He was a science teacher, served in the army, worked in retail sales, and finally began the career he loved most-35 years of leather crafting at flea markets and craft shows. Gene and Mary were married in 1979 and spent 34 wonderful years together and between them had seven children. Gene was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Gene was a member of Apache Wells Community Church and enjoyed serving with Call to Care. He was a gentle man with a wonderful sense of humor and quick wit. He loved reading and fishing and was a talented leather crafter. Gene is survived by wife, Mary White; brother, Ivan (Cathy) White of Galena, OH; sisters, Donna Wyatt of Pikeville, KY, Janet Stock of Westerville, OH, children: Steve (Sharon) White of New Albany, Launia (Yvonne) White of Yulee, FL, Brian (Felicia) White of Howard, OH, Kirk (Karen) Milewski, Dwayne (Melissa) Milewski both of Mesa, AZ, Vincent (Sheila) Milewski of East Liverpool, OH, Tammy Milewski of FL; Niece, Dawn (Randy) McCoy; 13 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews, and many wonderful friends. Preceded in death by parents Ernest and Louise White; second wife Betty White; siblings Frank White, Barbara Stock, and Ernest White; and great-granddaughter Shyanne. A Memorial service will be held at Apache Wells Community Church, 2115 North Gayridge Rd., Mesa, AZ 85215 on Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 10 a.m.
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Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Aug. 2, 2014