Dr. David Willis
Dr. David Wayne Willis, 58, of Brookings, S.D., passed away Monday, January 13, 2014 in Sioux Falls, S.D. Memorial services will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 16 at the First Presbyterian Church, 405 7th Avenue, Brookings, S.D. Arrangements are being handled by Eidsness Funeral Home in Brookings (http://www.eidsnessfuneralhome.com/
). Memorial donations may be made to the David W. Willis Memorial Fund by visiting www.sdstatefoundation.org
or SDSU Foundation, Lohr Building, 815 Medary Ave., Box 525, Brookings, S.D. 57007.
David W. Willis was born March 7, 1955, in Ames, Iowa to the late Dr. Wayne O. and Sally R. Willis.
At the time of his passing, Dave was a Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Natural Resource Management at South Dakota State University in Brookings. His tenure on faculty at SDSU spanned 1987 - 2014.
Dave was well-known as a scientist and educator. He stated that one of his greatest accomplishments was "the working relationships that I developed with students at all levels," serving as thesis adviser for more than 50 graduate (MS and PhD) students. He received numerous research and teaching awards from the American Fisheries Society and SDSU, among others, yet more important to him were the more than 90 awards received by his students.
He is survived by his loving wife of 32 years, Susan, and three children: Matthew Willis (Pamela), of Estelline, S.D.; Jamie Kerr (Stef), of Pierre, S.D.; and Valerie Willis (Rocky), of Brookings, S.D.; three siblings: Donald Willis, of Wheatland, Wyo.; Dr. Diane Brown, of Boston, Mass.; and Daniel Willis, of Westminster, Colo.; and grandsons Taylor, Dylan, Ryder and R.J.