Lawrence Greenberry WillisDecember 1, 1921 ~ October 23, 2017 (age 95)
Mr. Lawrence Greenberry (L.G.) Willis, 95, of Dawson died Monday, October 23. Funeral services will be held 1 PM Thursday, October 26 at First Baptist Church of Dawson, Rev. Charles Jones and Rev. Horace Keen officiating, with burial at New Bethel Church in Colquitt County 3 PM. Visitation for friends and family will be 6-8 PM Wednesday, October 25 at Harvey Funeral Home in Dawson.
Mr. Willis was born in Grady County December 1, 1921. He was the son of the late Bob Lee Willis and DeAlva West Willis Blewett, step-son of Thomsal Jasper (T.J.) Blewett.
As a child of the Great Depression, Mr. Willis learned early the value and rewards of hard work. His first employment, outside of family farming, was at Camp Blanding, FL where he worked in construction making $.75 per hour. Many times he reminisced about sleeping in tents, "outdoor living" and the camaraderie of his uncles and cousins who accompanied him on this adventure.
After returning to Georgia and marrying Velna Lorene Britt, Mr. Willis was called to serve his country during World War II in the 7th Division of the U.S. Army's 17th Infantry Regiment. He served in the Pacific Theatre in the battles of Leyte and Okinawa, and was the recipient of two Purple Hearts.
Mr. Willis was well known in southwest Georgia as a sales representative with Sunnyland Packing Company for 34 years, retiring in 1983. Following his retirement, Mr. Willis particularly enjoyed gardening, raising a large vegetable garden annually and cultivating his daylilies. While he was meticulous about the appearance of his yard and spent much time making sure it was carefully manicured, he also was generous in sharing plants, vegetables, and the jams, jellies, and relishes that resulted from his labors.
Mr. Willis also restored antique cars and received numerous awards in shows where his latest restorations were exhibited. He made sure each car he restored was to the standards of the manufacturer whether it was an antique Pontiac, Dodge, Packard, or Ford Model A.
As a youth growing up during the Depression, Mr. Willis developed hunting skills to literally put food on the table. He remained an avid hunter and even during the last year of his life, he was determined to still go to the woods to "get that deer for the freezer."
Mr. Willis was always devoted to his family and church. He professed his faith and joined First Baptist of Dawson in 1958. He served many terms as an active Deacon and more recently has served as a non-administrative deacon. He followed the doctrines of his church and believed in the importance of regular attendance of church services; if it was Sunday, you would find him at church.
Mr. Willis was a member of the VFW, American Legion, Artesian City Car Club, and the Senior Adult Sunday School Class of Dawson First Baptist.
Mr. Willis was pre-deceased by his father, mother, step-father, sister Edna Willis O'Hearn, brother Thomsal Vernon Blewett, wife Velna Britt Willis and Nell Rouse Willis, and granddaughter Beth Anne Picard.
His survivors include his three daughters Linda Leeson (Tim) of Dawson, Dr. Janice McKinnon Swain (Steve) of Satsuma, FL, and Barbara Willis of Venice, FL; 8 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren; and special friend, Ms. Christine Eubanks of Sales City. Memorials may be made to Dawson Senior Center, 741 Forrester Drive, #12, Dawson, GA 39842.