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Willis Jackson


April 14, 1924 - April 3, 2014

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Willis Jackson peacefully entered into eternal rest at his residence on Thursday, April 3, 2014 surrounded by family and friends after a brief illness. He was affectionately known as Papa, Gut Gut, and Knuckle Head to family and friends.

Willis was one of ten children born to the late Deacon William Henry Jackson and Deaconess Pearl Tunstall Jackson on April 14, 1924. He was preceded in death by his loving wife Evelyn Jackson and eight of his siblings, George Jackson, Ben Jackson, Lewis Jackson, Eyvind Jackson, Ellis Jackson, Edmonia Jackson, Lucille Allen and Theresa Jones.

Willis graduated from Hanover County Public Schools. He joined the United States Naval Service in June of 1943 at the age of 19 as three of his brothers were also serving in the Navy. He enjoyed talking about his duties on ship and the places he traveled to. He was a proud World War II Vet.

At an early age he joined the Providence Baptist Church and later the Mangohick Baptist Church. Family and friends enjoyed listening to him pray at family gatherings.

He was joined in marriage to Evelyn Courtney. To this union two daughters Cynthia, Sherrie and one son Larry were born. Willis loved sports. Dallas Cowboys was his football team and the LA Dodgers was his baseball team. During his youthful years Willis was an outstanding 3rd baseman with the Ashland Cubs and officiated baseball games as an empire. During baseball season he watched games every day.

Willis was employed in the transportation and supply division for 34 years with General Defense Supply Center before retiring in 1984. He received many outstanding job performance recognitions during his tenure. After retirement he worked for 15 years as an independent contractor providing cleaning and lawn services for the United States Postal Service in Hanover County. After work in the fall and winter seasons, he cut fire wood and sold it. In the summer he planted a vegetable garden large enough to supply vegetables to family members and friends. He loved doing these things and being busy.

Willis loved talking and would carry a conversation on with everyone. He will be remembered for his big smile, love of life and devotion to his family and friends.