Basketball 05


Richard "Danny" Willis

March 17, 2018

Mr. Richard “Danny” Willis, age 71, of the Pleasant Gardens community, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, March 17, 2018.  Danny was born in Marion on March 16, 1947 to the late Cecil Willis and Gladys “Frisky” Willis Young.  He was retired from the U. S. Postal Service where he served as the Postmaster of the Nebo Post Office.  A graduate of Old Fort High School, it could be said that he was one of the greatest basketball players to ever come out of Old Fort High.  To say that Danny was a sports fan would be an understatement.  He loved all sports and was a devoted Carolina fan and he also followed the Atlanta Braves enthusiastically.  Danny had many interests, including golf and travel, but his life was focused on the love he had for God and his family.  He always put them first in his life and they knew it.  Moreover, his family was the rock in his life, the motivation and focus of his love and efforts.  Called “GranDanny” by his grandchildren, his entire family, and indeed, all who knew and loved Danny will miss him very much.  In addition to his parents, a grandson, Eleck Hensley, preceded him in death.


Danny leaves behind his loving wife of 49 years, Judy Lewis Willis; three daughters, Marla Willis Hensley and husband Gregg of Denver, NC, Tera DeAnne Willis of Marion, and Danette Willis Brackett and husband Scott of Morganton; a brother, William “Bill” Willis and wife Mary of Satellite Beach, FL; eight grandchildren, Gracyn and Josie Hensley, Gus Cowan, Nora Willis, Daniel and Ella Brackett, Andrew Hensley, and Ally Hensley Garcia; and four great-grandchildren.  He is also survived by two special cousins, Jim Willis and Iona Willis Baker.


The family will be available to receive friends Tuesday, March 20, 2018 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Old Fort.  A service of remembrance and celebration of his life will follow at 3:00 p.m. with Rev. Drew Dalton and Rev. Adrian Early officiating.  Burial will be in McDowell Memorial Park.  Flowers are appreciated, however, those desiring to make a memorial contribution are encouraged to consider the Heart of a Lion Scholarship Fund in memory of Eleck Willis Hensley at McDowell High at 600 McDowell High School Road, Marion, NC  28752.  

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