Obituary photo of Paul Willis, Dove-KS
In Loving Memory of

Paul M. Willis

1929 - 2021
Obituary photo of Paul Willis, Dove-KS
In Loving Memory of

Paul M. Willis

1929 - 2021

Services & Gatherings

Services & Gatherings

Service:
Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at 10:00am
Highland Park United Methodist Church, Topeka, Kansas
Interment:
Memorial Park Cemetery
Topeka, Kansas

Interment:
Memorial Park Cemetery
Topeka, Kansas
Paul Marcus Willis, 92, of Salina, formerly of Topeka, passed away on Sunday, July 11, 2021.

He was born April 25, 1929, in Cherryvale, Kansas, the son of Ulysses Grant and Josephine Atwater (Rairdin) Willis. He was a graduate of Elk City Hight School, Independence Junior College, and Kansas State Teachers College at Pittsburg, Kansas. He was drafted into the US Army during the Korean War. After discharge from the Army, he received a Master’s of Science degree from Kansas State University.

Mr. Willis taught Biology at Highland Park High School and Shawnee Heights High School for 32 years. He retired in 1989.

He was a life-long member of the United Methodist Church. He was a member of Topeka Audubon Society, Kansas Wildflower Society, Shawnee and Saline County Master Gardeners, and participated in Senior Olympics, Silvertones Singing Group (Salina), and many other groups. He had also served on the USD 450 School Board.

Paul married Lillian Maxine “Lil” Curry on August 12, 1951, in Prescott, Kansas. She preceded him in death on June 17, 2010. He married Barbara Harris on November 26, 2011, in Salina. She survives in Salina. Other survivors include four children, Karen (Tom) Sim of Topeka, Robert (Teresa) Willis of Mt. Sterling, IL, Kent (Deb) Willis of Leon, KS, and Sheila Sumpter (Michael Omatsu) of Olathe, KS; 2 stepchildren, Brent (Shelli) Billau, Overland Park, KS, and Gwen McClenton, McPherson, KS; 9 grandchildren, Tom (Crystal) Sim, David Sim, Erika (Garrett) West, Erin (Will) Yarbrough, Stephen (Angela) Willis, Simeon (Leah) Willis, Anna (Justin Miller), Samuel (Sabrina) Willis, and Elizabeth (Zac) Burns; 4 step-grandchildren, Lauren and Hailee McClenton and Will and Adam Billau; 12 great-grandchildren, and one step-great-grandchild.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Ruth Ellison, Viola Rhodes and Mary Rhodes; and brothers Howard and William Willis.

Paul loved spending time with family, especially his grandchildren. He enjoyed bird watching, gardening, wildflower studies and humbly sharing his knowledge with people.

Cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Paul's Life will be held at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at the Highland Park United Methodist Church, Topeka. Private inurnment will take place in Memorial Park Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Highland Park United Methodist Church, 2941 SE Michigan Ave, Topeka, KS 66605 or to Topeka Audubon Society, PO Box 1941, Topeka, KS 66601.

Dove Southeast Chapel, 2843 SE Minnesota Ave. is assisting the family with arrangements.

To leave a special message for Paul’s family, please select the Share Memories button above.
Paul Marcus Willis, 92, of Salina, formerly of Topeka, passed away on Sunday, July 11, 2021.

He was born April 25, 1929, in Cherryvale, Kansas, the son of Ulysses Grant and Josephine Atwater (Rairdin) Willis. He was a graduate of Elk City Hight School, Independence Junior College, and Kansas State Teachers College at Pittsburg, Kansas. He was drafted into the US Army during the Korean War. After discharge from the Army, he received a Master’s of Science degree from Kansas State University.

Mr. Willis taught Biology at Highland Park High School and Shawnee Heights High School for 32 years. He retired in 1989.

He was a life-long member of the United Methodist Church. He was a member of Topeka Audubon Society, Kansas Wildflower Society, Shawnee and Saline County Master Gardeners, and participated in Senior Olympics, Silvertones Singing Group (Salina), and many other groups. He had also served on the USD 450 School Board.

Paul married Lillian Maxine “Lil” Curry on August 12, 1951, in Prescott, Kansas. She preceded him in death on June 17, 2010. He married Barbara Harris on November 26, 2011, in Salina. She survives in Salina. Other survivors include four children, Karen (Tom) Sim of Topeka, Robert (Teresa) Willis of Mt. Sterling, IL, Kent (Deb) Willis of Leon, KS, and Sheila Sumpter (Michael Omatsu) of Olathe, KS; 2 stepchildren, Brent (Shelli) Billau, Overland Park, KS, and Gwen McClenton, McPherson, KS; 9 grandchildren, Tom (Crystal) Sim, David Sim, Erika (Garrett) West, Erin (Will) Yarbrough, Stephen (Angela) Willis, Simeon (Leah) Willis, Anna (Justin Miller), Samuel (Sabrina) Willis, and Elizabeth (Zac) Burns; 4 step-grandchildren, Lauren and Hailee McClenton and Will and Adam Billau; 12 great-grandchildren, and one step-great-grandchild.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Ruth Ellison, Viola Rhodes and Mary Rhodes; and brothers Howard and William Willis.

Paul loved spending time with family, especially his grandchildren. He enjoyed bird watching, gardening, wildflower studies and humbly sharing his knowledge with people.

Cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Paul's Life will be held at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at the Highland Park United Methodist Church, Topeka. Private inurnment will take place in Memorial Park Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Highland Park United Methodist Church, 2941 SE Michigan Ave, Topeka, KS 66605 or to Topeka Audubon Society, PO Box 1941, Topeka, KS 66601.

Dove Southeast Chapel, 2843 SE Minnesota Ave. is assisting the family with arrangements.

To leave a special message for Paul’s family, please select the Share Memories button above.

Services & Gatherings

Services & Gatherings

Service:
Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at 10:00am
Highland Park United Methodist Church, Topeka, Kansas
Interment:
Memorial Park Cemetery
Topeka, Kansas

Interment:
Memorial Park Cemetery
Topeka, Kansas

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