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Dorothy M. Willis

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Willis Dorothy M. Willis, 82, of Westerville, died March 10, 2017, at Mount Carmel St. Ann's. She was born in Cadiz, Ohio, on May 10, 1934, to Sylvia and Emerson Mizer. She grew up in the rolling hills of Eastern Ohio on a large dairy farm, riding horses, excelling in 4-H and developing a lifelong love of the outdoors. Dorothy graduated from Cadiz High School in 1952 and attended The Ohio State University. She raised three children with her then husband, James L. Willis, also of Cadiz. She had a career in retail, working nearly three decades at the downtown Lazarus department store in Columbus. Her position as buyer for the Liberty of London specialty shop took her on regular trips to Manhattan. She was inquisitive by nature, had a passion for knowledge, art and travel, and took classes through the Lifelong Learning Institute into her eighties. Dorothy was a member of the Columbus Museum of Art and Worthington Presbyterian Church and frequently volunteered at Inniswood Metro Gardens. She practiced yoga, was an avid hiker and still swam at the Westerville Community Center until shortly before she died. She is survived by sons, Scott Willis (Patricia) of San Jose, California, and Dan Willis of Hudson; daughter, Julie Willis of Upper Arlington; brothers, David Mizer (Anna Lee), Tom Mizer and George Mizer (Kathryn), all of Cadiz; sisters, Lois Henderson (George) of Wildwood, Missouri, and Sara Griffith (Jim Wise) of Indio, California; and grandsons, Andrew, Daniel and Sam. She was preceded in death by her sister Nancy Jonard. The family will receive friends Tuesday, March 28, from 6-8 p.m. at the Everal Homestead at Heritage Park, 60 N. Cleveland Ave., Westerville. A memorial service is planned Saturday, April 1, at 11 a.m. at the Presbyterian Church of Cadiz. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Inniswood Garden Society, 940 S. Hempstead Rd., Westerville, OH 43081. Online condolences: www.clark-kirkland.com.


Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Mar. 24, 2017
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