- 75 years old
- Date of birth: Jan 2, 1937
- Date of passing: Jul 21, 2012
|Let the memory of James be with us forever|
"Thank you for the gift of your wonderful family. I will be seeing most of them in the next three months and we'll share happy memories of you."
"Miss you so much, Dad"
"In loving memory. Marion Jacobs"
"One of the great gifts James gave me was sharing his wonderful family with me. I visited with many of them this fall in North Carolina. We all missed him together. The years pass, but the memories are still strong."
"Miss you, Jim."
"Tomorrow will be two years since James passed away. Our lives have all moved on, but the love and memory of James remain strong. My closeness with his family is a precious gift for which I am forever grateful. With love to all those who loved James.
"James, with his wonderful sense of humor, and classy southern style, lives on in our memories. People around Laguna Beach remind me of that, often sharing their memories. He shared his family with me too, a loving and ongoing gift."
"It's hard to believe that an entire year has passed from that fateful Saturday night when his family and I gathered at his bedside, said our final goodbyes, and watched him leave us forever. He is very loved and very missed."
"I miss sharing our mutual January 2nd Birthday, in spirit we still share,
With many fond remembrances"
"This would have been James' 76th birthday. He is remembered with love in all of our hearts. We miss you James!"
"I just returned from a trip, a creative quest. Cosanti & Arcosanti (studio of Paolo Soleri, student of Frank Lloyd Wright), Taliesen (Wrights school) and other architectural sites. A journey James would love & details he would point out. I miss our banter over the years, always making me push my design just a little more. I will miss celebrating our mutual January 2 birthday."
"It is almost four months since James left us, but he remains in so many hearts. I miss him deeply. He was the love of my life."
"It is my regret that I only had the opportunity to spend one evening in the company of James Willis during a rare visit to California. I feel that I would have appreciated his sense of humor and compassion, traits that I value highly. I am, however, grateful that my cousin, Marion, had him in her life, which was enriched by his presence."
Your soul sails on and you are on a starboard tack. Some day we will be sailing together and do the cruising that we so often talked about.
It would also be fun to tee up and play eighteen holes in Hawaii."
"Dear James - a true Southern Gentleman, but with a wicked sense of humor, which I was frequently the butt of - and I loved it!
I thank my dear friend Marion for introducing me to this exceptional man."
"I was saddened to learn of the passing of James Willis, He was already contending with heart ailments and struggling to continue his architectural activities when I met him but he remained of good humor and appreciative of life, and of Marion. I enjoyed my conversations with James. He was always warm and engaging. I will miss him."
"Pug and Matt,
I am thinking about you and your family. Your dad was a good man and will be missed!"
"I did not know James, but I did have the privilege of getting to meet his son Matthew. To see all the love from so many people that were close to him, proves the awesomeness of this man. I wish I had had the opportunity to meet James. I have the highest respect for fathers that turn out such incredibly viable children, where love for family remains forever."
"The Swann girls, Gale, Sally, and Lila send their love. James designed a wonderful house for us which also happened to be next door to him. Sammy, do you remember the afternoons you sat at Mom's kitchen table and ate vanilla wafers and drank 2-liter drinks? What good times we had on the shore. James was a remarkable man and we are proud to be among his friends. Be in touch."
"James was a class act. He had great style, tremendous wit and wisdom. Even in a bathrobe, he looked like a page out of GQ. Better yet, he was a man of compassion, warmth and uncompromising gentility.. And he produced a mean martini. We wish there were more like him. He will be missed."
"James had style, and wit, and wisdom. Even in a bathrobe he looked like a page in GQ. An evening with James and Marion was an evening spent with Thurber, and Shakespeare and Borowitz. And he was so brave! Life with Marion must have been good because he fought so hard for it. We are deeply grateful to have known this delightful, kind and gentle man. ."
"Our friend Andy Kliss wrote to me about James and said about this website:
That is a very touching tribute to a Grand Old Southern Gentleman who didn’t mind voicing his thoughts when necessary."
"I lost the most important man in my life on July 21st when James passed away. He was biologically my uncle, but in practice, was a father to me. I think of Lynne, Sammy, Pug and Matthew more as siblings than as cousins. I am thankful for the style, courage and grace that he taught me! I will love him forever and hope to live with his laid-back spirit for the rest of my days!"
"Hey Pug and Matthew,
From our wonderful summers together on South 13th Street I vividly remember the smell of your Dad's pipe, his kind eyes, the mellow cadence of his voice and, of course, his red MG. He was a lovely man. I am thinking of you and yours and sending you Love."
"The WGA -- world's greatest architect -- James B. Willis, Jr. It is a sadder, lonelier place without you, your gentle soul, your love, your smile. You have left us with many memories which we hold in our hearts forever. But that we could hold you in our arms one last time, kiss you one last time. You live on in Sammy, Matthew, Pug, and Lynn. Peace."
"Tomorrow will be a sad day for me in MHC, that's for sure. But it will be nothing compared to all of the freaking amazing memories I have from all the years me and my "Daddle" shared there. You inspired me in so many ways- musically, artistically but most of all- you taught me how to take life as it is and sometimes, just simply laugh."
"Dave and I knew James through our friend Marion. We send our condolences to Marion and to the family and friends who knew James well. He was a unique and cherished friend, witty, and exercised his free spirit. The kind words and touching stories left by others are a testament to a complex and beloved man who left this world a better place when he passed."
"James was caring, charming, and funny. I'll never forget when he taught me the value of x for college algebra. After a while, being the comedian he was, x became an inside joke. Because he could make light of any situation and loved to make people laugh, he also taught me not to take life so seriously. I'm going to miss you James!"
"James - we shall miss you - your warmth, kindness and charm. Always the southern gentleman with just the right touch of the rascal. As George Bernard Shaw said, "A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out." When I see the love and generosity you gave to Marion and your beautiful children, I can think of no better example."
"One thing James loved was Mark Twain and with a smile he would quote Mr. Twain to Matthew and I. So in remembrance a quote from Mark Twain that’s fitting for how it’s seemed for the last week:
“Grief can take care of itself, but to get full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.”
- Following the Equator, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar"
""I’ve had the privilege to know James B. Willis and be apart of the family for 9 years. It was in these 9 years that James made an unquestionable impression on myself and others that surrounded his existence. As funny and on point as he was, he had a way of making a pear-shaped world make sense. You’re an incredible person that lives on in Matthew, Pug, Lynne, and Sammy-love you guys!""
"Pug and Mathew,
I don't step out of 404 South 13th street without seeing "your" house and having a nice thought of all the great times we had running back and forth across the street. James was such a fine man, great Dad and neighbor. We will all miss him but I know none more than you."
"Hey Pug, Matthew, Sammy, & Lynn,
You probably already know this, but James was my single biggest influence as an architect, and like a father to me personally. I hope he knows how much he is loved. The Willis door was always open, I had a lifetime of fun with him and you guys as well, and miss him and his kind voice already. He was a great man."
"Marion was so fortunate to have found such a special guy to share her life. Courtly, bright and unfailingly funny. Ah, sweet James I shall miss you!"
"Hey Mathew and Pug, I'm really sorry for your lose.It was wonderful to grow up next door to you guys. I'll be thinking of you in the coming days. Lots of love."
"Dear Matthew, Pug and Sammy...
I am in MHC right now looking across the street at your house and missing you and your wonderful people. Your dad was one of a kind, a charming, talented man who loved his people. I am sending you lots of love and my heart felt condolences."
"Dear Matthew, Pug and Sammy: our thoughts are with you. James was one of a kind in the best way. Love to you all. Mary Frances, John, Richard."
"I knew James through my good friend Marion Jacobs. He was kind and sweet, so caring to Marion, a great storyteller and wonderful architect. I know how much he loved his children, and it is very sad that he is gone."
"I will always remember James from when I was a little girl running around the Haystacks in Morehead. I always thought of him as a wise, kind, calm man. I have thought of him and the rest of the family often throughout the years. My thought s and prayers are with you all now and always."
"Pug, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I am sorry for your loss."
"Pug and Matt, just want you to know that I'm thinking about both of you and saying many prayers for your family."
"James was the most lovely man. He was always a Southern gentleman with just the right amount of twinkle in his eye, quick to laugh, tease and share a joke. He will be greatly missed."
"James was the consummate gentleman-- and a world-class flirt. I'll miss his kindly ways, sharp wit, and dulcet voice."
"Your father was an extrodinary man who was so loved by his family, the world is a sadder place without him. Your hearts are hurting and it will be a long time for that hurt to heal, it will, but you have such wonderful memories of this extrodinary man. Heaven got a new angel. You are all in my thoughts and prayers."
"James was the love of my life and my true soul mate. I shall miss him forever. We shared many wonderful times, and later many difficult ones because of illness. His charm, wit, humor, caring, kindness, integrity,bravery and values were truly impressive. This was a man who was loved by everyone who had the blessing of knowing him."
"Matthew, Pug and Sammy, you are in my thoughts and prayers as well as those of my family (I hope you know that). I am sure you're dad will be missed, not only by you but by all those who knew him. Hugs to you all!"
"Mitt-Matt I love you and Pugnacious. I know Nana has prepared an awesome down east meal for him in heaven. Wish I could hug you guys."
"As a little girl, my Uncle James fascinated me. I loved being around his calm spirit and listening to his warm laughter. He always made me feel at ease, welcomed and loved. I appreciated his creativity and talents. He always knew how to have a good time. My favorite way to remember him is at Core Banks with braids in his hair, playing board games with the family. I love that sweet man."
"hey matt sorry to hear about all yer family has going on at the time I can't imagine. Yer dad was always one laid back dude and was always a pleasure to be around thoughts and prayers,"
"Jimmy was my first big brother. Being the only girl in the family, and the baby at that, I was on the receiving end of his incessant teasing and taunting, but I considered it a sign of his affection. I was so proud of him and freely boasted about his attributes and accomplishments. Pianist, artist, architect, sailor, designer, snappy dresser...and a great brother was jas b."
"Pops was one of the most layed back cool cats that has ever graced this earth. His style and swagger in his everyday life is what I believe made him such a great architect and person. I can see him now smoking his pipe laying his great words of wisdom on us!! He will be missed dearly but never forgotten!! My love and condolences to all the Willis family"
"Hey Matt, I never had the privilege of meeting your dad, but from the way you've always talked about him, I'm sure he was not only an amazing father, but an amazing man. I can't imagine what you are going through right now, but I hope you know that you have 2 good friends up here in Arrowhead that are always here for you, our door is always open and you're in our thoughts, always. Love you"
"For anyone who comes to this site feel free to send me any pictures you may have of my father. He was a great man and I am trying to compile a collection of photos in his honor. Email me at email@example.com with the photos attached or just to send me a message. Thank You!"
"James Belmont Willis Jr. was an architect of an era in which architecture was a lifestyle. Architecture can take on many different shapes if read in the right light. My father was not only an architect in profession but an architect of life. His design of love, care, and compassion was bred deeply in his four children as well as in his love for life. Daddy, thank you for everything!"
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