L. Gale Willis, 91, of Johnson City, passed away on October 20, 2008, at his residence. Born in Surgoinsville, TN, he was the son of the late Arthur and Mattie Roberts Willis.
He attended First Christian Church and was a member of First Baptist Church in Kingsport.
Mr. Willis was a premier auctioneer in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia where he was recently inducted into the Tennessee Real Estate Hall of Fame for fifty years of service. He closed his office at Willis Real Estate only four weeks ago, previously Willis and Boyer Real Estate. His work was his hobby. Mr. Willis also was a member of the Kiwanis Club where he had perfect attendance for twenty-four years.
Known to his family as a gift, he brought value, light, wisdom and wit to all he met. Mr. Willis believed every person had value and dignity and saw the good in everyone he met. He had a great sense of humor and his attitude on life was “you might as well be happy.”
Mr. Willis loved all music, particularly gospel music. His family and friends were most important to him.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Grace Willis; sister, Maggie Osbourne and brothers, Ray, Tom, Dan and Glen.
He is survived by his daughter, Brenda Willis Casserly and husband Mike of Maplewood, NJ; sister, Kate Lambert of Kingsport; two grandchildren, Elizabeth Thrower, PhD of Birmingham, AL and Benjamin Todd Eller, PhD of Los Angeles, CA; great-grandson, Andrew Benjamin Thrower; several nieces and nephews, and special niece, Sonia Crumbly and husband Richard of Colonial Heights.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Thursday at 2:00 PM in the Sunrise Chapel of Tetrick Funeral Services with Lt. Governor of Tennessee Ron Ramsey officiating and Dr. Angus R. Shaw speaking. Burial will follow in Tri-Cities Memory Gardens. The family will receive friends from 5:00 – 7:00 PM on Wednesday. Active pallbearers will be Mike Casserly, Richard Crumley, Todd Eller, Lynn Hall, and Max Thrower.
Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 508 Princeton Rd., Suite 102, Johnson City, TN 37601.
Arrangements for the Willis family are in the care of Tetrick Funeral Services, 3001 Peoples St., Johnson City, TN 37604. (423) 610-7171