Winder M. (Reese) Willis Sr., of Pensacola, Fla., passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter E. and Alice I. Willis; his brothers, Oscar and Roger E. Willis, and his first wife, Debra F. Willis.
Winder Maurice Willis Sr. was known as Reece in Mathews. He was born and raised in Mathews, Va., where at an early age he joined First Baptist Church of Mathews. He attended and graduated from Thomas Hunter School. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy. While serving in the Navy, he received the National Defense Service Medal and upon completion of his service, he was honorably discharged.
After being discharged from the Navy, he worked for 30 years as a Lead Service Technician for Sears and Roebuck. After he retired from Sears, he continued to use his technical skills to help senior citizens in his community and church, free of charge. He was one of the founding members of New Birth Baptist Church where he served on the deacon and trustee boards and the male chorus. He was also a member of the Pensacola Volunteer Fire Department.
Maurice leaves a legacy of virtue, wisdom, and love. He is survived by his second wife, Anita R. Willis; two children, Atangila M. Willis and Winder M. Willis Jr. (Anthon); sister, Mary Gayle; two brothers, Leslie Willis (Wilnet) and Anderson Willis (Martha Ann); a brother-in-law, Jeffrey Drakeford (Jeannie); three grandchildren, Brendan Barge, Maurice and Makayla Willis. He also had two step-children, Shedrick L. Robinson (Juandalyna) and Cindy R. Evans, and a host of other family members and friends.
A celebration of his life was held on Dec. 10, 2014 at New Birth Baptist Church. Burial was in Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Fla.