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Jack Willis


1917 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Jack Willis Obituary
December 22, 1917 - February 16, 2016 Jack Willis peacefully passed away at the age of 98 on the morning of February 16th at his home in Malibu. Jack came to California from Port Glasgow to raise a family. He wanted to share the gift of the ocean and coast with his dear wife Jenny, and so they settled in Malibu. In Scotland during World War II, Jack had mastered the mechanics of a nascent technology called radar and trained his native country's operators in its use; the backdrop of catastrophic air raids made the work all the more pressing. On arriving stateside, his technical acumen served him well as he launched a successful semiconductor business in the 60s, one of the first of its kind, and then guided generations of students through the circuitry of electrical engineering as a professor and professor emeritus at UCLA. During his life Jack filled enough canvases with castles, lochs and ships to make art galleries of the homes of his family; beguiled a troop of grandkids and great-grandkids with his Scottish brogue; and never once let his smile fade or raised his voice (except if his cherished Bruins were losing at Pauley). He had an effortless intellect, he was a respected father without severity, a window for his grandkids into an old world of kindness without expectation, and an anchor of prosperity, modesty, and humanity for an ever-flourishing family that owe him so much and will miss him immensely. His children Janette, John and George were with him when he passed. Jack's life will be memorialized at a family gathering in his native homeland of Scotland. Jack will be laid to rest on a bluff above the River Clyde in Port Glasgow where he will be at Jenny's side once again.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Feb. 29 to Mar. 1, 2016
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