Howard Leon Willis, 93, of Beaumont, died Friday, September 27, 2013, at Jefferson Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Beaumont. He was born on September 16, 1920, in Kountze, to Georgia Alice Wooley and O. E. Willis, and had been a long time resident of Hardin County. Howard was the last survivor of six siblings. He married his sweetheart, Beulah Mae Hart, on September 12, 1941, and they celebrated 70 years together before her death in 2011. Together they raised three daughters in South Park on Congress Street where they lived until 1994. There were many things PawPaw enjoyed in life, especially having his grandchildren around his house. He was also an avid gardener, carpenter, and general handy man that could build or repair anything. Retirement, after thirty-three years at Mobil Oil Refinery as a layer-out, was the beginning of many projects and adventures traveling. A bit of a perfectionist, he loved the planning phase of everything. Mr. Willis also had a sharp wit and enjoyed a good prank. He was a United States Army veteran who proudly served during World War II in Germany and France. Howard earned the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals which he didnt actually receive until he was 80 years old. Howard is survived by his daughters, Jackie Holton and her husband, Bill, and Velma Rae Dickerson, all of Beaumont; son-in-law, Robert Tankersley of Kentucky; six grandchildren; sixteen great-grandchildren; and two great-great- grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Beulah Mae; daughter, Betty Tankersley of Kentucky; son-in-law, Marshall Dickerson of Crystal Beach; and great-great-grandchild, Cameron Norton. A gathering of Mr. Willis' family and friends will begin at 12:00 p.m., with his funeral service to follow at 2:00 p.m., Monday, September 30, 2013, at Broussard's, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. Interment will follow at Magnolia Cemetery, Beaumont. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to Lumberton Church of Christ, 90 West Chance Road, Lumberton, Texas 77657 or to Westgate Church of Christ, 6390 Westgate Drive, Beaumont, Texas 77706. Complete and updated information may be found at broussards1889.com
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1605 N Major Dr Beaumont, TX 77713
Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Sept. 29, 2013