Rodney Earl Willis
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Rodney Earl Willis, 78, of Tallahassee, FL, the son of John Ollie and Edna Collinsworth Willis, succumbed to cancer, passing away peacefully on June 27, 2013 with his family by his side.
Rod was a dedicated and loving husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle, son, and friend. He grew up in Milton, Florida, and after graduating from Milton High School in 1953, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corp where he served our country for 3 years. Rod also spent time recording records in Nashville in 1957/58.He graduated from the Florida State University with a BS degree in Business and retired from the Florida Governor's Budget Office and Department of Labor after 30 years.
Rod is survived by the love of his life, Carolyn Elvidge of Daytona Beach, Florida, whom he married in 1957. They had 5 children: Wendell Howard Willis of Miami, Florida, Janet Starr Bevan (Tom) of Stuart, FL, Benjamin Berry Willis (Tricia), Rodney Wayne Willis (Anne), and Laura Lynn Freeman (Jason) all of Tallahassee, Florida; 19 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.He was extremely loving and proud of his large family. He is also survived by his brothers John Reginald Willis of Manassas, Virginia, Robert Neal "Buddy" Willis, Richard Leonard "Ben" Willis both of Bagdad, FL, Ronald Edward "Ronnie" Willis of Pace, FL, William Ray "Bud" McLean and his sisters Sarah Elizabeth Price, Mildred Ann Kiley all of Milton, Florida, and Linda Regina Smith of Rock Hill, South Carolina, as well as many nieces and nephews.
"Popper" loved feeding the many deer, wild turkeys, and various other animals that visited the Back Forty over the years. He loved genealogy and being with family, but most of all, he loved being on the Back Forty with his wife of 55 years, whom he called "Boppie."
A Celebration of his life will take place at his home on the Back Forty (5386 Back Forty Road) at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, July 4th, 2013. Family members will welcome his many friends who are able to attend.
Happy Day, Semper Fi, rw
Published in Tallahassee Democrat on July 1, 2013