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Jonathan Spencer Willis III


1940 - 2015 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Jonathan Spencer Willis III Obituary
Surely Jack's last prayer was "Thank you, Lord."

Jonathan Spencer Willis, III, of Dover, Delaware, and Lake Dunmore, in Salisbury, Vermont, died at home in the company of his loving family on December 5, 2015. He was 75.

Jack was born on November 15, 1940, in Milford, Delaware, the son of J. Spencer Willis, Jr., and Stella Warner Willis.

He attended Fork Union Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy and was a graduate of Swarthmore College and the Cornell School of Business with degrees in business administration and economics.

For over 35 years, Jack worked as a financial planner and stock broker in the offices of Laird, Bissell & Meeds, Dean Witter and Merrill Lynch. In the 1970s, Governor Pete du Pont named him to the Delaware Economic Advisory Board.

Even more than the valued professional counsel he offered was the abundant friendship he shared - both reflecting his core of kindness and concern. Known for the fervor of his convictions, Jack's personal philosophy was evidenced through his generous deeds and outreach. Those who knew Jack saw him walk the walk!

A member of Dover's Wesley United Methodist Church, he led several of its Bible study classes and chaired Mission, Stewardship and Education committees. During summer months, he often facilitated adult Sunday School classes at the Middlebury United Methodist Church in Vermont. He was also active in the Emmaus community, the Shalem Institute and was a Prison Fellowship mentor for 17 years.

Jack served on the Board of Directors for People's Place, Dover YMCA and Lakes Alive, a Vermont-based organization, raising funds to maintain lakes and natural species. He has worked with homeless men for 20 years and Dover's Interfaith Mission for Housing.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Jim Willis, in 1982.

Jack will be keenly missed by his cherished family: his loving wife, Gerrie, Geraldine Wheatley Willis; his three daughters: Heather M.W. Perry and her husband Adam of Palmyra, Virginia; Lindsey Joy Willis of South Burlington, Vermont; and Anne Willis Howe and her husband Henry of Fairfield, Connecticut; a sister-in-law, Dawn Willis of Milford; grandsons Noah, Benjamin and Andrew Perry and Adler and Henry Howe.

Jack is also survived by his nephews Beau Willis of Takoma Park, Maryland, Hunter Willis of Colorado Springs, Colorado, his niece Brie Wyatt of Milford and four great-nephews.

Services to remember Jack will be held on Saturday, December 12th at noon at Wesley United Methodist Church, 209 South State Street, in Dover.

His family suggests, in lieu of flowers, that contributions in Jack's memory be sent to Wesley United Methodist Church in Dover, the Middlebury United Methodist Church in Middlebury, Vermont, or, to reflect Jack's inclusiveness, memorial gifts to another beneficiary of the donor's choice.

Letters of condolence may be sent and a guest book signed at www.torbertfuneral.com and also www.jackwillis.org.
Published in Dover Post from Dec. 7 to Dec. 16, 2015
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