Cover photo for William Frederick Willis's Obituary
William Frederick Willis Profile Photo
1932 William 2020

William Frederick Willis

December 8, 1932 — June 30, 2020

William Frederick Willis, better known as Fred, passed away peacefully at his home in Lampasas, TX on June 30, 2020 after a series of illnesses. He was 87. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and a true gentleman to all who were fortunate to know him. He was a proud American and lifelong Texan who will be missed dearly. His surviving family and close friends take great comfort in knowing that he is now whole again in body, mind, and spirit and is reunited in Heaven with his loving wife, Wanda, and extensive family and friends that preceded him. Fred led an interesting life and had a strong Christian faith, treated people with respect, and always managed to see the good in people. In his later years, he loved to tell his life’s stories to anyone and everyone. And he most definitely had some great ones from his childhood years growing up in Odessa, his college days in Lubbock at Texas Tech, his time spent being a fighter pilot in the Air Force, and of course his days pursuing his lifelong dream of being a successful cattleman. He was very generous with his time supporting various cattle associations and judging livestock shows throughout the state. Fred was born on December 8, 1932 in Odessa, TX to John Jerome (“JJ”) and Mary Adele Willis. He was the fifth of eight children and did not have it easy being the middle child of a big family. JJ Willis was a successful entrepreneur that started and operated a trucking company that catered to the oil business throughout the Permian Basin. He also owned a substantial cattle operation in Midland County, a large rice farming operation around Beaumont, and had various other businesses in the Odessa/Midland area. He saw to it that each of his sons, five in total, knew the true meaning of a hard day’s work and developed strong work ethics. Fred was no exception to that rule. He was especially close to his younger brother, Joe, who passed away in Lampasas about a year ago. Fred met his wife, Wanda Shive, in the mid 1950’s and they were married on February 14, 1959 in Coahoma, TX after Fred was discharged from the Air Force and had become head of operations for JJ Willis Trucking Company. They were married for 61 years. They resided in Odessa and had two children, Keri, born in 1960, and Ron, born in 1961. After JJ Willis Trucking Company was sold, Fred and Wanda moved the family to the Lampasas area in 1972 where Fred became a cattle rancher and real estate broker focused on selling ranches. Fred built many successful business relationships and close friendships in Lampasas that remained with him the entirety of his life. Fred played an active role in Keri and Ron’s lives growing up and contributed greatly to their successes showing cattle locally and throughout Texas at the major livestock shows. Showing cattle was near and dear to Fred’s heart as he and his brothers had much success during their time, and he wanted his children to experience the same. After Keri and Ron moved on with their lives, he and Wanda worked side by side and remained active in the cattle business for many years. One of the highlights of Fred’s life was becoming a grandfather in 1993 to Cole Wimer and Megan Wimer, born in 1996. Fred relished their visits to Lampasas and exhibited great pride seeing them both graduate from college at Appalachian State in North Carolina with honors and becoming successful professionals - Cole in construction management with one of the largest commercial construction companies in the US, and Megan with one of the top Big 4 global accounting firms. Their frequent phone conversations were a focal point of his life in his later years. Fred is survived by his daughter, Keri Willis Borg of Arden, NC and son Ron Willis of Dallas, TX. His grandchildren Cole Wimer of Oklahoma City, OK and Megan Wimer of Charlotte, NC. He is survived by a sister, Sarah Herrington (Russ) of Odessa, TX and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Wanda. His parents JJ Willis, and Mary Adele Willis. His brothers, Jerome, Hardy, Palmer, and Joe, and sisters, Mary and Becky. The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to Fred’s caregivers Carmen, Tammie, and Corinne. A heartfelt thanks goes to Carmen who provided great comfort to Fred after Wanda’s death and will never be forgotten for her love and kindness. The family would appreciate any donations be made in Fred’s name to either the First Presbyterian Church of Lampasas or the ROCK Ride On Center for Kids in Georgetown, TX at https:/rockride.org. Graveside service is Friday July 3, 2020 at 10:30 am at Oak Hill Cemetery.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Frederick Willis, please visit our flower store.

Guestbook

Visits: 32

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree