Celebrating the life of William Dane Willis
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William was born on April 14, 1958, in Altus, Oklahoma, to parents Robert Dane Willis and Donna Grace (nee Custer). William grew up in Haymarket, Virginia and attended college there. He returned to Oklahoma to be near his parents in the town of Healdton. The family eventually settled in Blair in 1991. William worked for Prime trucking doing long-haul driving and later served as a dispatcher. "Heavy Duty" was his trucking handle. He was a seasoned trucker and won an award for driving over 2 million miles without having an accident. In addition to truck driving, he also served as a reserve police officer and paramedic in his younger years in Healdton.
William was extremely loving and protective of his family. The nature of his work caused him to be away from them much of the time, but, as a provider, Heavy Duty did what was necessary to meet their needs. Coming home to his loved ones after being on the road were the times he valued most. He loved playing with his kids Jaime and Matt and spending time with them. William was a giant, imposing man, but he had a heart of gold and would give the shirt off his back to anyone who needed it.
Heavy Duty met the love of his life, Laura Kay Keimig, in 2005. The two married in Altus on February 2, 2006. William had older children but was blessed with Tanner, who would be the joy of his later years. No longer confined to working long hours, he was able to have more time simply being "Dad". In his spare time, Heavy Duty enjoyed riding motorcycles and shooting guns but also liked playing video games and cards, watching movies and doing anything else that the family he loved so much wanted to do. He liked to laugh and often joked around, playing pranks on others.
Heavy Duty believed in hard work and instilled the value of a strong work ethic in his children. His wisdom, kindness and true concern for everyone will be forever remembered in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to be part of his life.
Meeting William at Heaven's gates are his parents, Robert and Donna.
Remaining to mourn his loss but continuing his great legacy are his devoted wife of 16 years, Laura Kay Willis; his beloved daughter Jaime Danielle Anton and son-in-law Joshua Michael; his son Matthew Dane Willis and fiancée Michelle Diane Wilson; son Tanner Dane Willis; brother Terry Lynn Willis and wife Caren Jo; sister Melinda Sue McFerrin (nee Willis) and her late husband Raymond Claude; sister Debra Ann Willis; grandchildren Lilyanne Jean Anton, Alyssa Rose Anton, Ava Grace Wilson and Ella Hope Wilson; niece Courtney Nichole Tyler (nee McFerrin) and husband John Thomas; nephew Duston Jack McFerrin and wife Brooke Marie; nephew Jarid Wayne Spain and wife Brittiany Daniell; niece Janna Lynn Anderson (nee Spain) and husband Jeffrey Bryant; uncle Jim Alvin Willis and aunt Paula Kay; uncle Paul David Willis and aunt Cherri Nell; special friends Fred and Brenda Lynn, Ed Dennis and Rachel Brand Mills; as well as many other great-nieces and nephews, cousins and loved ones.
A memorial service honoring Bill will be 4:00 p.m. Thursday, April 28, 2022, at the Church of Christ of Olustee with Mr. Tom Bailey officiating.
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