He was 95. C.B.’s life will be celebrated in a memorial service at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 605 Sunset Drive, at 1:00 p.m on February 29. Family will receive visitors one hour before the service. Immediately following the service internment will be held at Monte Vista Memorial Park with full military honors. Rev. Paul Helphenstine will officiate.
C.B. was the son of Clayton B. Willis, Sr. and Estelle Johnson Willis of Johnson City. He was predeceased by his adored wife of 67 years, Martha Rose O’Brien Willis; twin brothers, James Henry Willis and John Jack Willis of Mitchell County, NC; twins, Phyllis Willis Gardner of Johnson City and Philip Burns Willis formerly of Johnson City. Surviving family members include two sons-Steven Charles Willis and his wife Angela (Brown) Willis of Monetta, SC; Dr. Robert Clayton Willis and his wife Patricia Ruth Willis of Modoc, SC.; daughter, Carol Willis Neas and her husband Ronnie Neas of Greeneville, TN. C.B. leaves behind 13 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews to celebrate his homegoing.
C.B. served his country proudly in the United States Army during WWII serving in the Pacific. . He was awarded various campaign ribbons and other awards. After the war he attended ETSU for two years, then transferred to the University of Miami where he majored in accounting. While attending The University of Miami he met his life companion (Rosie), where they both were students. After graduation, C.B. was employed by General Motors Acceptance Corporation in Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina over a period of 35 years. Over the years C.B. was very active in the communities in which he lived. He was a 45-year member of the Lions Club in Johnson City and Columbus, GA, and in 2014 was inducted into the Tennessee Lions Club Hall of Fame. A City of Johnson City Mayoral Proclamation named May 17, 2019 Lion C.B. Willis Day and acknowledged his efforts in conjunction with Vanderbilt University to start the Johnson City Lions Club Children’s Eye Screening program. He frequently served as a fundraiser for the United Way, rang the bell for the Salvation Army, and was very active as a volunteer in Johnson City Medical Center’s Mended Hearts. C.B. was a certified Dale Carnegie Instructor and taught these courses for over 20 years. He was very proud to have donated in excess of 10 gallons of blood to the American Red Cross, continuing until prescribed medication prevented further donations. He was a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church for over 40 years, having retired as an Elder, committee member, and church leader.
C.B. was one of the founders of Old Timers Hiking Club of Johnson City and served as secretary as long as he was able. For many years in retirement, he hiked the trails in the mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia and encouraged others to love and enjoy the beauty of the Mountain Empire. His love for the mountains compelled him to devote more than 1,000 hours to trail maintenance on the Appalachian Trail. C.B. was very thankful that he was able to pass on his deep appreciation to the environment to his children.
The family of C. B. would like to acknowledge lthe hard work and compassion of the wonderful staff at Colonial Hills Retirement Center, his dear friend Ginger Brooks, the staff of NHC in Johnson City, Dr. Grosserode and Associates, and his entire church family at Covenant Presbyterian Church
If desired, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Johnson City Lions Club, P.O. Box 902 Johnson City, TN 37605, or to Covenant Presbyterian Church, 603 Sunset Dr., Johnson City, TN 37604
This obituary was lovingly written by the Willis family.
Memories and condolences can be shared with the family by visiting www.tetrickfuneralhome.com. Tetrick Funeral Services 3001 Peoples St. Johnson City, TN 37604 is honored to serve the Willis family. (423)610-7171