George A. Willis III
19 December, 1926 – 10 July, 2020
The spirit of a man courses and accumulates over the years. If he husbands and cultivates that spirit it becomes a powerful thing that defines his life and brings joy to others. Such a man lived among us. He was born on 19 December 1926 and died on 10 July 2020.
His name was George Willis.
He was a son and father. He was a husband. He was a grandfather. He excelled in all roles. He defined those roles and was not defined by them. He was firm in his opinions and yet respectful of those opinions divergent from his own. He led and taught by example and by that virtue a light beaconed from his being.
Happiness was his calling card. He saw the goodness in others and gained strength from it. If positive outlook had gravity he was its center.
Famous men will not speak his name. But, by chance, if you see a fellow man smiling, it could well be he’s simply paying forward his gentle memory of his fellow man who he once knew: George Willis.
He often talked of his mother, Frances Brown Willis and his father, George Alfred Willis, Jr.
He was predeceased by his wife over 60 years Dean Kilgore Willis. He loved her until the day he died. They had an infant daughter who predeceased them along with his brother Thomas Eugene Willis.
He is survived by his two children Bryant Durham Willis (Leslie) and Fran Willis Warren (Steve) along with his beloved younger brother Robert Edward Willis Sr (Jackie) of Macon and six grandchildren: Ryne Willis Strongosky, Morgan Catherine Strongosky, Jeffrey Steven McConnell Warren, Meagan Willis Lough (Nathan), Tristan Durham Willis, Mary Cameron Brooke Willis.
He attended Alexander # 4 and Lanier High School. After graduating from Lanier he was drafted into the U.S. Navy where he served during World War II. After the war, he attended Mercer University of Macon where he was a member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity and joined the Army National Guard. He became a Senior Army Aviator of the ARNG where he earned a commission. After graduating from flight school, he was licensed to fly single and multi engine aircraft as well as rotary wing aircraft. He retired as a Captain and a Lt Colonel of the Georgia State Defense Force. He loved flying and could talk about it endlessly - probably because it matched his endless high spirt.
He was employed with the Georgia Power Company, Durkee Foods, and Burns Brick Company. He then struck out on his own and became the very successful owner and operator of the Macon Rug Shop for over 25 years. No one surpassed his work ethic - unafraid as he was of consistent and sustained effort. During this period of time he invested himself in the community. He was an advisor to Phi Omega Beta Fraternity where he touched the lives of many young people. As was once said: “(a) good teacher never knows where his influence ends.”
Snows Memorial Chapel, Bass Road, has charge of the arrangements. Graveside services will be held on Wednesday, 15 July at 11 am at Riverside Cemetery entering through the North Gate. Reverend John Kinser will officiate.
Visit www.snowsmacon.com to express tributes.
- He is survived by his two children Bryant Durham Willis (Leslie) and Fran Willis Warren (Steve) along with his beloved younger brother Robert Edward Willis Sr (Jackie) of Macon and six grandchildren: Ryne Willis Strongosky, Morgan Catherine Strongosky, Jeffrey Steven McConnell Warren, Meagan Willis Lough (Nathan), Tristan Durham Willis, Mary Cameron Brooke Willis.
Learn more about the Willis name
Wednesday, 15 July , 2020
George A. Willis III
17 July 2020
George was a good friend a business acquaintance for many years. My sympathies to all of the family.RIP George
Jean and Don Wolff
16 July 2020
We were saddened to learn of George’s death. He was a member of our Sunday School class at Forest Hills UMC and a special friend. Praying for comfort and strength for your family during this time of loss. God bless.
KEN M FRENCH
16 July 2020
Mr. Willis and I were neighbors for over 30 years. He was an inspiration to me. I told him I wanted to grow up to be like him. My first catamaran was purchased from him at the carpet shop he ran. He was a true friend and will always be remembered as such.
13 July 2020
So sorry to read of George's passing. We had many fun times together when we both attended Forest Hills Methodist Church Adult Singles Sunday School Class. We would ride his bike all over with the wind blowing through our hair. He was a very good and dear friend. I know the love he had for his brother.
Judy Parker Cosby
12 July 2020
I have known the Willis Family all of my life....Our families were close and I knew all of them....John and I went to school with Robert (Hokey) and Jackie...and they call me "Suzie Parker" whenever they see me.!! Which has been a long time....
Your family is in our heart and prayers...We live in Dalton, Ga. now....GOD Loves You and so do we!!
12 July 2020
Friends are a wonderful asset but cousins are a true blessing.
My sister, Grace, and I were Willis' s first cousins in Atlanta and were often in Macon at our Granny's house on Ridge Ave. We enjoyed a deep friendship growing up with the Willis boys.
George will be sorely missed .
Love and deepest sympathy to all his family and much loved friends!
Judy Lewis Shackleford
11 July 2020
While I only met George a couple of times through his friendship with a fellow Alexander IV alum, Jean E. Weaver, I can attest to the fact that he was indeed a gentle and caring person. If there is a person who personifies what a Christian is, in my mind he was it. His family should know that his friend Jean is so very saddened by his death. She had recently recounted to me one of the very last conversations they had in which George suggested that the two of them should have a photo taken on the steps of Alexander IV before it is totally converted into a retirement home and have it published in the Telegraph with a caption that here are the last surviving members of the inaugural first grade class at the school. Alas, that never happened.
My condolences to all the family.
10 July 2020
Fair winds and following seas..