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Roselawn Funeral Home & Roselawn Memorial Gardens

5350 NW Broad Street, Murfreesboro, TN

OBITUARY

William Ray Willis

February 21, 1939March 9, 2020
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William Ray Willis, age 81, of Lavergne, Tennessee, passed away on Monday, March 9, 2020, at his home. Mr. Willis was the son of the late Aubrey and Leora Floyd Willis. He is survived by his wife of over 58 years, Jackie Willis; daughters, Dr. Deb Waterbury and her husband Jeff and Dawn Bowersox and her partner Wallace Hutcherson; son, Scott Willis and his wife Leigh Ann; grandsons, Spence Waterbury, Miles Waterbury, Haden Bowersox, Quinten Bowersox, Dalton Bowersox, Will Willis and Dean Willis; and great granddaughter, Emma Bowersox. He was preceded in death by sister, Kathy and brothers, Larry and Floyd. Services to celebrate Mr. Willis will be at Ten O’clock to morning of Friday, March 13, 2020 at Roselawn Funeral Home with placement to follow in Roselawn Memorial Gardens. Mr. Willis was a member of Rural Hill Church of Christ. He was the owner of Bill’s Automotive in Lavergne, Starwood Storage in Lavergne and several auto repair facilities. Friends are cordially invited to visitation Thursday evening from Four O’clock until Eight O’clock at Roselawn Funeral Home. To leave thoughts or memories, visit www.roselawnfh.com and these memories will be included in the family’s Life Remembered Book. Roselawn Funeral Home, 5350 NW Broad Street, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37129, 615-893-2742.

Services

  • Gathering of Family and Friends Thursday, March 12, 2020
  • Service to Celebrate Friday, March 13, 2020
  • Placement Friday, March 13, 2020

Memories

William Ray Willis

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MIKE ALLEN

March 16, 2020

45 years ago, just out of the Army & with a new wife & daughter....I went to work for a man who would change our lives. Bill, Jackie & the kids became our family. Through his kindness, compassion, generosity & love, he would help us in so many ways & pave our way to a wonderful life. Thanks to Bill, I'm a better man, husband, father & friend. I love you Bill.

Tammy Willis Gilmer

March 14, 2020

My memories of Uncle Bill are precious to me. Such a super nice man...always. Boating, being on the water, and of course a picnic to go with it! But the best memory is Uncle Bill playing guitars with my daddy. It was always more fun when Uncle Bill was there, because he would sing! My daddy would say Bill had the pipes, and he loved to hear him sing, we all did.,,,
Much love to Aunt Jackie, Debbie, Dawn, and Scott. Love y’all!❤️

Sherra (Williams) Taylor

March 14, 2020

Being a junior high and high school friend of Debbie, I was in the Willis home on several occasions - sleep-overs, parties, etc. Both Mr. and Mrs. Willis were always welcoming and kind hosts! I remember seeing Mr. Willis read his Bible in his chair in the den in the evenings and visiting with the family at Rural Hill. My memory of him is that he was a loving husband to his wife and a spiritual leader for his children. He was a diligent worker in his career with all those fascinating foreign cars, one of which I had the pleasure of riding in many times - Debbie’s Karmann Ghia! I am blessed to have known him, and my prayers are with his family as they grieve his loss.
Sherra (Williams) Taylor

Nancy Riehm

March 14, 2020

I didnt know him but I know his daughter Deb and shes a precious, gracious, woman of faith and integrity! I feel honored to call her a friend and sister in Christ. I'm sure he and Debs mom were amazing parents to have raised she a beautiful daughter who blesses so many. Nancy Riehm Victory Worship Center in Tucson.

Spence Waterbury

March 11, 2020

Papaw was a story teller. Sometimes his stories would be scary, his grandkids sitting around a fire as he would talk about monsters that lived in the lake the cresting waves making us stir with wonder. He did it out of love of course, because those are the memories I would always cherish and remember fondly. Sometimes it would be advice, advice on how to be a better man, how to show love towards the people you love most or the strangers you just met. I wouldn’t be the man I am today without papaw and all the stories and lessons told around a campfire or sitting one on one at a dining room table. He loved immensely and taught me how to love unconditionally.

The Hanks'

March 11, 2020

We were blessed that Papa came into our lives through Dawn. Please know that we are praying for you all and the repose of his soul. Also, in this time of sorrow, we hope these words help bring you comfort. "Death is nothing else but going home to God, the bond of love will be unbroken for all eternity." Love, Wayne, Valerie, and Sophia

Suzanne Mahaffey

March 11, 2020

I met Mr. Willis in the early 90s when I went to stay with Debbie, who was visiting home at the time. It was over the 4th of July and of course he had all the fixings and a large fireworks show at dusk. He was so good to put up with this Canadian girl as I baited him all weekend with Canada Day revelry (July 1st). I also remember him showing my daughter how to catch lightning bugs that night. I fondly remember his laugh and love for his family!

Heidi Merideth

March 10, 2020

I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Willis about 2 years ago while traveling with his daughter, Deb. He mesmerized me with stories of his youth. He was like Steve Queen. I could have listened to him for hours. I’m sure Mr Willis is delighting the angels with his wonderful stories and driving fast shiny cars through the clouds.
Rest In Peace Mr. Willis

Jan Rutledge

March 10, 2020

He was like a second Dad to me. He gave me and my Mama our first motorcycle ride and took me camping for the first time. During a difficult time in my life he sat with me and talked and told me it was going to be ok and we talked about the Bible. He knew the Bible and His word, so no doubt I know he is home with our Father. I love him and all his family.

Jan

Tommi Stephenson

March 10, 2020

Daddy Bill was the sweetest, kindest, most caring father, and such a doting husband. I was lucky to have spent some of my young life in his orbit. He was always smiling and when he laughed, you couldn't help but laugh too!

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

William Ray Willis, age 81, of Lavergne, Tennessee, passed away on Monday, March 9, 2020, at his home. Mr. Willis was the son of the late Aubrey and Leora Floyd Willis.
He is survived by his wife of over 58 years, Jackie Willis; daughters, Dr. Deb Waterbury and her husband Jeff and Dawn Bowersox and her partner Wallace Hutcherson; son, Scott Willis and his wife Leigh Ann; grandsons, Spence Waterbury, Miles Waterbury, Haden Bowersox, Quinten Bowersox, Dalton Bowersox, Will Willis and Dean Willis; and great granddaughter, Emma Bowersox. He was preceded in death by sister, Kathy and brothers, Larry and Floyd.
Services to celebrate Mr. Willis will be at Ten O’clock to morning of Friday, March 13, 2020 at Roselawn Funeral Home with placement to follow in Roselawn Memorial Gardens.
Mr. Willis was a member of Rural Hill Church of Christ. He was the owner of Bill’s Automotive in Lavergne, Starwood Storage in Lavergne and several auto repair facilities.
Friends are cordially invited to visitation Thursday evening from Four O’clock until Eight O’clock at Roselawn Funeral Home.
To leave thoughts or memories, visit www.roselawnfh.com and these memories will be included in the family’s Life Remembered Book. Roselawn Funeral Home, 5350 NW Broad Street, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37129, 615-893-2742.