Obituary of Thomas Lee "Tommy" Willis ~ 2001

Transcribed by Joan S Dunn

Source: The News & Observer Jan 4 2001

ARAPAHOE - Thomas Lee (Tom) Willis, died at his home in Arapahoe on 
Wednesday, January 3, following a courageous battle with cancer.  
"Tommy" Willis was born in New Bern, on February 8, 1923. 
He attended New Bern public schools joining the Navy following his high 
school graduation. After completion of military service, he attended N.C. 
State University, where he graduated in 1950.  
Tom returned to New Bern and began a successful career with what is now 
known as UniSource Paper Company. He and his family were transferred to 
Raleigh in 1963 for 2 years, to Savannah, GA for 3 years, and back to 
Raleigh until his retirement in 1980 when they moved to Pamlico County.  
Tom received numerous awards during his employment with UniSource and 
received the title of Unijax Master in 1977.  He was an avid Wolfpack fan 
and also a member of the East Carolina Hunt Club and the Craven-Pamlico 
Hunt Club. Tom attended Bethany Christian Church in Arapahoe where he 
served as a deacon until his health began to fail.  
He is survived by his wife, Jane Ellis Willis of the home; one daughter, 
Lee Willis Johnson, and her husband, Charles of Raleigh; one brother, 
James Ray Willis and his wife, Shirley Parker Willis of Durham; one niece, 
Kimberly Willis Hayden and her family of Raleigh and one nephew, James Ray 
Willis, Jr., also of Raleigh. His mother-in-law, Margaret B. Ellis and his 
brother-in-law, Paul B. Ellis, Jr., both of New Bern.  
A celebration of life service will be held at Bethany Christian Church in 
Arapahoe on Friday, January 5, at 11 a.m.  
The family will receive friends immediately following the service.  
Memorials may be made to the Boys and Girls Home of N.C., P.O. Box 127, 
Lake Waccamaw, NC 28450 or Hospice of Pamlico County, P.O. Box 959, 
Bayboro, NC 28515.   
Arrangements by Bryant Funeral Home.

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