John Willis

John Willis, 80 of Colorado Springs, died Aug 22, 2013. Born in Eagle Lake, Texas he was preceded in death by his sisters Viola Abbott, Virginia Ramey, and brother Robert Willis. He is survived by his two daughters Wanda Lee McGill of Colorado Springs and Sandra Willis of Fullerton, CA, his 2 grandsons Brannan McGill of Longmont, CO and Daniel McGill of Charleston, SC, his sisters Marie Willis, Velma Jean Willis, and Joyce Nigh of Texas. He was preceded in death by Tsuyako "Sue", his wife of 58 years who passed away in June. They met while he was enlisted in the Navy and stationed in Japan. In his younger years he was a cowboy and bull rider and worked in oil fields. He joined the Navy and served in the Korean and Vietnam wars on board many ships including destroyers USS Rowan and Chevalier, and the supply ship USS Mars. Towards the end of his Naval career he was a Company Commander, pushing boots at the San Diego Naval Training Center. After 22 years of service, he worked in San Diego as a shipbuilder and later worked on the FLIP research vessel, at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. He moved to his home state of Texas and worked as a maintenance manager in the chemical and petroleum industries, and eventually retired from the Texas Department of Corrections. He then moved to Woodland Park, CO and oversaw local water treatment facilities. They were active in the Woodland Park Senior center where their friends will miss his colorful Texas tales. He always said "if you're lucky enough to live in the mountains, you're lucky enough". He and his wife beloved wife Tsuyako, later moved to Colorado Springs where he dedicated his final years taking wonderful care of her in her final days. The family would like to thank Pikes Peak Hospice for his care.

Published in The Gazette from Aug. 24 to Aug. 25, 2013