BLACKSHEAR, Sr., Willis E. Age 57 and a lifelong resident of Dayton, passed away peacefully at Hospice of Dayton on February 19, 2018. He is survived by his wife, Regina, son, Willis Jr. and stepchildren, Jamil, Keianna and Brekila. He was a graduate of Dunbar High School (Class of 1979) and Fisk University (Class of 1983). Willis began a 30-year career of public service in the Montgomery County Treasurer's office, working his way from an entry level position to Assistant County Treasurer. In 2006, he realized his dream of serving as an elected official when he was appointed Montgomery County Recorder. Willis was elected to his first four-year term in 2008, and re-elected in 2012 and 2016. He served on numerous boards including Miami Valley Fair Housing, Sinclair College Paralegal and Tawawa Community Development Corporation. Willis was president of the Dayton Montgomery County Black Elected Officials, the first African-American to serve as president of the Ohio Recorders Association, member of the G-Men Social Club of Dayton and recipient of the Top Ten African American Male (2009) and Montgomery County Democrat of the Year (2014) awards. He was preceded in death by his mother, Lillian Blackshear; and sisters, Catherine Wright, Willene Dansby-Blackshear and Lillian (Sue) Cleveland. Other survivors include sister, Carlotta Culpepper; brothers, Bill Thomas (Evelyn), Milton Blackshear (Angela), Dennis Blackshear, and twin, Willard Blackshear; mother-in-law, Dorothy Garrett; brothers/sisters-in-law Timothy (Paula) Branham, Herman (Zaria) Dixon, and Darrell (Belinda) Anderson; four grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and friends. A celebration of Willis' life will be held on Saturday, March 17, Sinclair Community College, Smith Auditorium in Building 12, at 1:00 p.m. Family members will greet and receive friends at 12:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to "The Willis E. Blackshear, Sr. Scholarship Fund" of The Dayton Foundation, 40 N. Main Street, Suite 500, Dayton, Ohio 45423. HHRoberts.com
Published by Dayton Daily News on Mar. 4, 2018.