Cover photo for Gary Willis's Obituary
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1949 Gary 2024

Gary Willis

January 28, 1949 — January 1, 2024

Reidsville, GA

We bid farewell to Gary Alan Willis, a man whose life was as rich and vibrant as the garden he so lovingly tended. Born in 1949 in the town of Nahunta, Georgia, to Sallie and Bill Willis, Gary's journey through life ended peacefully at his residence on January 1, 2024.

Gary, a Vietnam veteran, carried the spirit of an era marked by its call for peace and love. His experiences shaped a man who believed deeply in peace and love, characteristics that defined his days as an old hippie. This spirit was evident in his love for music, spanning from the soothing strains of classical to rock and roll, and in his garden, a place of tranquility and beauty.

Gary’s passion for gardening was more than a hobby; it was a reflection of his soul. His deck garden, an oasis, was the envy of many. Summers were made sweeter by the taste of his homegrown tomatoes and cucumbers, which he shared generously.

Gary was a true Southern cook, known for his Sunday lunches that drew crowds and filled hearts. His culinary adventures weren’t confined to Southern cuisine; he loved to experiment, adding his own twist to dishes from around the world.

Gary’s heart was truly revealed in his love for his daughters, Edie Willis and Sarah Jacques (married to Ancil Jacques). He instilled in them his values of love, kindness, inclusivity, and a deep appreciation for the natural world. 

A man of great spirit and generosity, Gary’s love for fun was infectious. His lifelong friends were the bedrock of his life, always there, sharing in the joys and sorrows. Gary’s love for reading and writing was evident in his extensive library, a testament to his intelligence and curiosity about the world.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Sallie and Bill, and his brothers, Sidney, Ralph, and Gerald. He leaves behind a loving family - his sister Janice Grimes (Joseph Grimes), brother Ronald Willis (Jo Willis), his beloved daughters, and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews. His lifelong friends that were like family, including Jeff Morgan, Betty Jo Morgan, Michael Lee, Donna Horan, Krystial Harrell, Willie Horan, Robert Horan, Karina Able, Ben Horan along with countless others, will miss him dearly.

Gary’s life was a tapestry of love and laughter. As we remember him, let us cherish the moments, big and small, that he shared with each of us. In his memory, let’s find joy in the beauty of a garden, the warmth of a shared meal, and the laughter among friends.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary Willis, please visit our flower store.


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