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Chico, CA 95928
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Jane Hawley Willis

1920 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Jane Hawley Willis Obituary
JANE HAWLEY WILLIS Nelle-Jane Maurer Hawley was born January 13, 1920, in Portland, Oregon to Charles Wilson Hawley, Jr. and Nelle Maurer Hawley. Charles was a pipe organist who played the background sound effects for the silent movies so the family traveled all over the country. She was a championship tennis player in high school in Los Angeles before the family settled in Freshwater, California, where Jane graduated from Arcata High School and went on to Humboldt State College. She was always proud that she was picked to play an exhibition tennis match against Alice Marble. In 1940, she was accepted to the College of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, so she got on her Harley Davidson motorcycle and rode to Los Angeles to go to medical school. While there, she met her landlady's son, Frank Larimer Willis, and they were married August 1, 1942, a relationship that lasted 63 years until Frank's death in 2005. Because of World War II and the draft, Jane was unable to finish medical school and devoted her life to her husband and raising two sons, Frank L. (Larry) Willis, Jr. and Donald Charles Willis, and assisting Frank in his law practice. Over the years she acquired a commercial pilot's license and an airplane and flew Frank to court appearances all over the state. She also was a ham radio enthusiast, reaching the level of an Amateur Extra Class license. She used her skills to help the community being a volunteer radio operator for civil defense and various sheriff's search operations and fire emergencies. Jane passed away January 29, 2014, in assisted living after living in her own home until shortly before her death. She is survived by her two sons, Larry (Marge) Willis and Don Willis, three grandchildren, Jonathan Willis (Hayley) of Las Vegas, Nevada, David Willis (Elizabeth) of Milton, Florida, and Nan Miner (Brian), of Redwood City, California, as well as great -grandchildren Dylan in Las Vegas, Nathaniel and Andrew in Florida, and Lucy in California. She is also survived by a sister, Betty Jean Taylor of North Bend, Oregon. At her request there will be no services. The family plans a celebration of life sometime later in the year. Arrangements are under the direction of Brusie Funeral Home and any memorial contributions can be made to the Humboldt State College Fund through the funeral home.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Feb. 1, 2014
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