Pastor Monroe Willis, age 74, 308 Arbor Drive, Johnson City, was surrounded by his loving family when he went home to be with the Lord Monday afternoon, August 12, 2013, at 12:53 p.m. He was a lifelong area resident, born April 8, 1939 in Erwin and was a son of the late Jasper and Thelma Ray Willis. Monroe was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and a friend. Monroe worked in the ministry for 35 faithful years. He served at Good Shepherd Baptist Church for 26 years, Cherokee Mountain Baptist Church in the Lamar Community for 4 years and Foster Creek Baptist Church in Weaverville, North Carolina for 2 years. He was also retired from Hoover Precision Products in Erwin after 33 years of service. Monroe was a proud veteran of the United States Coast Guard.
Other than parents, he was preceded in death by fourteen brothers: Merley Willis, who passed away July 29, 2013, Harley Willis, Homer Willis, Franchard Willis, Cecil Willis, Sherrill Willis, Quinton Willis, J.B. Willis, William “Bill” Willis, John Willis, Carroll Willis, Arnold Willis, Roger Dale Willis and Quillen Willis; four sisters: Inez Harding, Creola Evely, Ella Hensley and Birdie McIntosh.
Monroe is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 54 years, Patsy Geraldine Edwards Willis; a daughter: Deborah Gail Smith and husband, Shawn, Johnson City; a son: Steven Monroe Willis and wife, Diana, Unicoi; three grandchildren: Derek Caleb Couch, Taylor Vaughn Couch and Madison Mikala Willis; two special little girls: Faith Ann and Sophia Ella Gardner and their mother, Jennifer; three sisters: Martha Rice and husband, Robert, Eva Bowman and husband, James, Linda Edwards and husband, Guy, all of Erwin. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive.
Funeral service for Pastor Monroe Willis will be held at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 14, 2013 from the Unicoi Funeral Home Chapel. Reverend Carroll Bagby, Reverend Kevin Laws, and Pastor Bobby Whitson will officiate.
Special music will be provided by Bobby and Haley Whitson and Ashley Lingerfelt.
Active pallbearers will be Caleb Couch, Taylor Couch, Steve Clouse, Ed Griffith, David Griffith, James Bowman, Darius Willis and Chris Gardner. Honorary pallbearers will be Everett Barnett and the deacons of Good Shepherd Baptist Church.
The family will receive friends prior to the service between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Wednesday and other times at the family home.
The committal service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, August 15, 2013, in Evergreen Cemetery. Those attending are asked to meet at the funeral home by 10:00 a.m. Thursday to go in procession to the cemetery. The Tennessee Honor Guard consisting of Boone Dam VFW Post # 4933 and the Tennessee Army National Guard will honor Monroe with military rites at the graveside.
Online condolences, photos and memories may be shared with the Willis family through our complimentary, interactive Book of Memories at www.ledfordfuneralhomes.com.
Unicoi Funeral Home, 4428 Unicoi Drive, Unicoi, is privileged to serve the Willis family. (423) 743-1381.