Photography

GENE M WILLS, SR.

September 13, 1942 ~ October 31, 2021 (age 79)

Obituary

Gene MacArthur Wills, Sr. born to Lauvenia and Jesse Wills on September 13, 1942, gained his heavenly wings on October 31, 2021. He was born in Thaxton, Virginia where he grew up in the country where the land of his family was known as “Free State”. Gene loved telling the stories of the mischief of him and his two older brothers, Owen and Jesse, and his many cousins and family that resided in the area. He accepted Christ at a young age and was baptized along with his brothers at Oakmugee Baptist Church in Bedford, Virginia. A few weeks after graduating from Susie G. Gibson High School at age 18, Gene started his journey in the Air Force on June 21, 1961 and climbed the ranks to Chief Master Sergeant. During his tenure in the military, he received three Meritorious Service Medals. Gene retired from the Air Force in San Antonio, Texas after serving 22 years, 3 months, and 11 days Higher education was very important to Gene, and he made sure to continue his education while in the military receiving his Baccalaureate degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska and his MBA in Human Resource Management from Central Michigan University. Gene Wills didn’t stop after the Air Force, he continued his career in Human Resources with the Austin Independent School District and retired after 25 years. Aside from his professional career, Gene Wills was inducted as a Mason and Shriner in Omaha, Nebraska with the Zaha Temple in 1974 and was affiliated with the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge - Rough Ashler as a 32nd degree Mason. Gene became a Deacon in Austin, Texas at St. Stephen’s Missionary Baptist Church and continued his spiritual journey as a Deacon with Logos Baptist Church in Pflugerville, Texas where he held many leadership positions throughout the church. He loved God and loved to serve Him. He was thankful for all God had done for him and what God had brought him through. His favorite verse was Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me”. Anyone who knew Gene, knows his wife Hazel D. Wills. Hazel was Gene’s heartbeat. He loved Hazel for all she had to offer and then some. She was his precious diamond, his chocolate chip, his hershey kiss, the twinkle in his eye, and the flutter in his chest. The love they shared was so powerful. She is the reason he held onto precious life so fiercely and fought to stay on this earth for as long as he did. He married Hazel Deloise Mccoy on August 21, 1965. They had a bond like no other. They did everything together as one! Gene treated Hazel as his precious soulmate and partner. Gene stayed by Hazel’s side even in these last few years where he could no longer be her primary caregiver. She was always on his mind and continuously prayed for her throughout the day. It hurt his heart to see how Alzheimer’s, like a thief in the night, would come and erase pieces of her. His face would light up as soon as he saw her dance, laugh, or come out of her room and tell him “I know you. You are my friend, my buddy”. He was comforted knowing the plans of care for Hazel in the event he would be called home before her. Gene was always a planner and wanted to make sure his house was in order. Gene had four children with Hazel whose names are Pamela, Gene Jr., Randall, and Lisa. Gene preached to his kids the importance of education, family, and church. He would give his all to his kids and always made it a point to be there for all important milestones. He worked multiple jobs on several occasions and was committed and dedicated to his family. He put all four of his kids through college and was happy to live to see them with accomplished careers. He was a caring and a loving fatherin-law to Mitchell Ward, Helenna Haggerty Wills, and cherished the bond he had with Brian Kirvin Rogers until the end. Being a grandfather was a true joy to Gene. He had 6 grandchildren: Kennedy (20) , Brian (18), Mitchell Jr. (18), Samantha (16), Alexandria (15), and Preston (14). Before he left this world, he became a great-grandfather in November of 2019 with the birth of his great-granddaughter from Kennedy named Kinsley. He would have loved to see all his grandchildren graduate high school, college, and get married, and be successful in this world. They all made him proud. Gene Wills was a great husband, father, family man, father-in-law, uncle, friend, role model, and listener. He appreciated true friendship. He was a patriarch to his family with a wealth of knowledge and in-depth family history. As his health failed over the last years, he yearned to talk to his friends and family, but was concerned about being a burden. He was thankful to all those that would check on him and he truly was thankful to those in his family that stood by his side as caregivers. He prayed for everyone until the end. We will truly miss Dad, Daddy, Cool Pops, Papa, Paw Paw, Pop Pop, G-PaPa, G-Pop Pop, Old Man, Old Fart, Gene, Mr. Wills, Uncle Gene, Scatter. When asked if he would like to leave a message to everyone when God calls him home, he thought for a second and then stated the following: “Don’t worry about me - I’m free and at peace. Watch over Hazel.” ========================================================================

Gene leaves to cherish his legacy of memories to his loving wife Hazel; his children with Hazel: Pamela Lynette Wills-Ward (Mitchell), Gene MacArthur Wills, Jr. (Helenna), Randall Levi Wills, Lisa Renee Wills-Rogers (Brian); his six grandchildren: Kennedy Hartman Wills, Brian Rogers II, Mitchell Ward, Jr., Samantha Ward, Alexandria Rogers, and Preston Ward, and one greatgrandchild Kinsley Skye Bedford; his brother Jesse Wills (Janice); his late brother Owen Wills’ family: sister-in-law Jackie Wills, nieces Christine Davis (Jeff), Sharon Nelms (Doug), and nephew Owen ”Buddy” Wills (Angela); his first-cousin Thomas Brown (Thesrez); and a host of other Wills, Brown, Easter, and Johnson family members and friends spread across the United States. He also leaves to cherish his memories the entire Mccoy Family including his sister-inlaws, brother-in-laws, nieces, nephews, and a host of other family and friends from his marriage to Hazel.

Masonic Memorial Ceremony (Noble Star Lodge #277)          10:30 A.M.          St. James Missionary Baptist Church

Interment following Service          Honor Guard:  21 Gun Salute                         Cook Walden Capital Parks Cemetery

"Live Streaming of Funeral Service and Burial to provided

Flower arrangements can be sent to: St. James Missionary Baptist Church, 3417 E. Martin Luther King Blvd., Austin, Texas 78721

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Services

Visitation
Thursday
November 11, 2021

9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
ST. JAMES MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH, AUSTIN, TEXAS
3417 E. MARTIN LUTHER KING BLVD
AUSTIN, TX 78721

Masonic Service
Thursday
November 11, 2021

10:30 AM
ST. JAMES MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH, AUSTIN, TEXAS
3417 E. MARTIN LUTHER KING BLVD
AUSTIN, TX 78721

Funeral Service
Thursday
November 11, 2021

11:00 AM
ST. JAMES MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH, AUSTIN, TEXAS
3417 E. MARTIN LUTHER KING BLVD
AUSTIN, TX 78721

Interment following funeral service
Thursday
November 11, 2021

COOK WALDEN CAPITAL PARKS
14501 NORTH IH-35
PFLUGERVILLE, TX 78660

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