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Glenn Russell Willis


1959 - 2010 Obituary Condolences
Glenn Russell Willis, 50, of Two Rivers, died Friday, July 2, 2010, at Madigan Army Medical Center, Fort Lewis, Wash., while recovering from surgery for kidney cancer.
Glenn was born in Vidalia, Ga., on Nov. 28, 1959, to R.W. and Murline Willis. Like his father, Glenn was an accomplished musician; he played saxophone in the Vidalia High School marching band and acoustic and electric guitar with friends throughout his life.
Glenn joined the U.S. Air Force upon his graduation from high school in 1977 and soon decided to make the military his career. He retired after 17 years at the rank of senior master sergeant. His career took him to many duty stations, including Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Montana and Colorado. He most enjoyed his six years in Germany, where he served in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
Glenn received numerous honors and medals, including the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Good Conduct Medal with four oak leaf clusters and the Air Force Longevity Service Award with three oak leaf clusters. He attended the USAF Leadership School, NCO Academy and Senior NCO Academy. He also earned an associate degree while in service.
In 1994, Glenn became assistant project manager for Lockheed Martin's ground-based radar bomb scoring contract at Eielson Air Force Base. Later, he took advantage of the VA's education program and achieved the status of Microsoft Certified Professional, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Microsoft Office Master Instructor. He used these skills in his computer consulting business and contracted with the state of Alaska to teach Microsoft Office to inmates at Fairbanks Correctional Center.
Glenn enjoyed living in Alaska's rugged environment and delighted in telling stories of the "Great Refrigerator" to friends back home in Georgia. He taught himself to fly fish and spent many hours fishing from a canoe as his wife paddled. Glenn also loved working on his hobby farm on 10 acres of spruce woods in Two Rivers, where he raised pheasants, chickens, guinea fowl and geese.
Glenn was active in the Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and 40&8. He held several offices, including post adjutant, at Fairbanks American Legion Post 11. At his death, he was serving as Cheminot Nationale for the Grande du Alaska, Voiture 1159, of the 40&8.
He is survived by his wife, Kristin Summerlin of Two Rivers; daughter, Kristy Willis of Pevely, Mo.; two sons, Kristopher and Benjamin Willis of Jefferson, Ohio; his mother, Murline Morris Willis, and sister and brother-in-law, Susan and Jones Hart, all of Vidalia; granddaughter, Madison Slaton of Pevely; nephews, Ryan and Logan Hart of Vidalia; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
A funeral service was held July 10 at Ronald V. Hall Funeral Home in Vidalia. Burial with full military honors followed at Pinecrest Cemetery. The family requests memorial gifts be sent to the Fort Lewis Fisher House, 9999 Wilson Ave., Fort Lewis, WA 98433.
Published in Daily News-Miner from July 25 to July 26, 2010
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