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:
Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 11:00am
University United Methodist Church, 1509 S. Santa Fe, Salina, Kansas
Paul Marcus Willis, 92, of Salina, formerly of Topeka, passed away 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 1946 graduate of Elk City High School. He graduated with an Associate’s Degree from Independence Junior College, Independence, KS in 1949 and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Kansas State Teachers College at Pittsburg, KS, and Master’s Degree from Kansas State University. He was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

Mr. Willis was a Biology Teacher for Highland Park High School and Shawnee Heights High School for 32 years, retiring in 1989.

He was a life-long member of the United Methodist Church. He a member of Topeka Audubon Society, Kansas Wildflower Society, Shawnee and Saline County Master Gardeners, participated in the Silvertones Singing Group in Salina, Senior Olympics, and many other groups. He had also served on the Shawnee Heights 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 his 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, Brent (Shelli) Billau, Overland Park, KS, Gwen McClenton, McPherson, KS; grandchildren, Erika (Garrett) West, Tom (Crystal) Sim, Stephen (Angela) Willis, Erin (Will) Yarbrough, Simeon (Leah) Willis, David Sim, Anna (Justin) Miller, Samuel (Sabrina) Willis, Elizabeth (Zac) Burns, Will Billau, Adam Billau, Lauren McClenton, and Hailee McClenton; 11 great-grandchildren and one expected; and 1 step-great-grandchild.

He was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters, Ruth Ellison, Viola Rhodes, and Mary Rhodes; and two 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.

Honoring his request, cremation is planned. A celebration of life ceremony will be July 15 at 11:00 AM at University United Methodist Church, 1509 S. Santa Fe, Salina, Kansas. A memorial service at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Topeka will be held at a later date.

Dove Cremations & Funerals, Southeast Chapel in Topeka is assisting the family. Private inurnment will be at Memorial Park Cemetery, Topeka.

Memorial contributions may be made to Highland Park United Methodist Church, 2914 SE Michigan Ave, Topeka, KS 66605 or to Topeka Audubon Society, PO Box 1941, Topeka, KS 66601.

To leave a special message for Paul’s family, please click the Share Memories button above.
Paul Marcus Willis, 92, of Salina, formerly of Topeka, passed away 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 1946 graduate of Elk City High School. He graduated with an Associate’s Degree from Independence Junior College, Independence, KS in 1949 and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Kansas State Teachers College at Pittsburg, KS, and Master’s Degree from Kansas State University. He was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

Mr. Willis was a Biology Teacher for Highland Park High School and Shawnee Heights High School for 32 years, retiring in 1989.

He was a life-long member of the United Methodist Church. He a member of Topeka Audubon Society, Kansas Wildflower Society, Shawnee and Saline County Master Gardeners, participated in the Silvertones Singing Group in Salina, Senior Olympics, and many other groups. He had also served on the Shawnee Heights 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 his 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, Brent (Shelli) Billau, Overland Park, KS, Gwen McClenton, McPherson, KS; grandchildren, Erika (Garrett) West, Tom (Crystal) Sim, Stephen (Angela) Willis, Erin (Will) Yarbrough, Simeon (Leah) Willis, David Sim, Anna (Justin) Miller, Samuel (Sabrina) Willis, Elizabeth (Zac) Burns, Will Billau, Adam Billau, Lauren McClenton, and Hailee McClenton; 11 great-grandchildren and one expected; and 1 step-great-grandchild.

He was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters, Ruth Ellison, Viola Rhodes, and Mary Rhodes; and two 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.

Honoring his request, cremation is planned. A celebration of life ceremony will be July 15 at 11:00 AM at University United Methodist Church, 1509 S. Santa Fe, Salina, Kansas. A memorial service at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Topeka will be held at a later date.

Dove Cremations & Funerals, Southeast Chapel in Topeka is assisting the family. Private inurnment will be at Memorial Park Cemetery, Topeka.

Memorial contributions may be made to Highland Park United Methodist Church, 2914 SE Michigan Ave, Topeka, KS 66605 or to Topeka Audubon Society, PO Box 1941, Topeka, KS 66601.

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

Services & Gatherings

Services & Gatherings

Service:
Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 11:00am
University United Methodist Church, 1509 S. Santa Fe, Salina, Kansas

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