ELLEN WILLIS

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WillisDec. 25, 1925 - Nov. 14, 2012 GRANITE Ellen Lucy (King) Willis, age 86, longtime resident of Granite, passed away early Wednesday morning, Nov. 14, 2012, at Plantation Village, in Altus, OK.Ellen was born in Dustin, OK, a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, on December 25, 1925, to James Dillard and Mamie (Fife) King. Ellen graduated from the Chilocco Indian Boarding School in 1944 as Valedictorian. She attended Oklahoma A&M where she met William R. "Bill" Willis, they married Feb. 23, 1946. Ellen and Bill owned and operated a small manufacturing plant, Willis Manufacturing Company, in Stillwater, OK, later moving to Granite, OK to work with family at Willis-Pellow Brothers. In 1983, Ellen, Bill and their four children, purchased Willis Monument Company from Bill's dad, J.R. Willis, eventually renaming it Willis Granite Products. Ellen retired in 1996 and in that same year was honored to have been inducted into the Chilocco Hall of Fame. A devoted and loving wife and mother, her laughter, sense of humor and smile will be missed by family and friends. Ellen was a member of the Granite United Methodist Church, supported local music students with scholarships and encouragement, served the community for 18 years as an election judge and was a fervent Oklahoma State Cowboy fan and supporter. Go Pokes! Preceded in death by her parents and son, James Lance "Spogie" Willis, three brothers, Tcholote King, Harold King and Bedixie King. She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Bill Willis; three daughters, Billie Karen Harrison, Linda Kay Morris and husband Mike, Brenda Gay Hickerson and husband John; four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren; one sister, Evelyn Brogdon of Ramona; one brother, John David (Kahlon) and Claudine King of Newkirk; one sister-in-law, Nora Jean King; along with many cousins, nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. Funeral services for Ellen Willis will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, November 17, 2012, at the Granite United Methodist Church. The family will receive guest on Friday, November 16, 2012, from 5 until 6, at the Granite United Methodist Church, where Ellen will lie in state. Funeral services are under the direction of Greer Funeral Home of Granite. Online tributes may be made to the family at www.GreerFuneral.com

Published in The Oklahoman on Nov. 16, 2012
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