ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, David Willis, 78 years old, born on March 4, 1931, and passed away on July 4, 2009. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Kelly Lopeman on March 4, 2018
Thinking of you and missing you today, Papa! But I know you are watching us and helping us and I'm very grateful. We always think of you when we see 4:44 on the clock (and it happens a lot!). So happy to have you in our hearts. Love you!
Posted by Gillian Willis on July 4, 2017
Missing you today, Dave, but know you're watching over us all from Heaven.
Posted by randy willis on March 4, 2015
Happy birthday to my Dad. He's still with me and always will be. I'll bet he's having an awesome party up in heaven today, partying with his brothers and hanging with his Mom and Dad. I still think about him every day. I know he knows how much I miss him. I look forward to seeing him again, but not any time soon. I love you Dad,
Randy
Posted by Phyllis Willis on March 4, 2015
I just want you to know you're in my thoughts today and every day. Hope you're up there in heaven with family and all our pets. I love you. You're loving wife and Aspen.
Posted by Kelly Lopeman on July 5, 2014
Yesterday was 5 years...so hard to believe. It's been an amazing 5 years - good times, hard times; times I wish Dad was here to see it all, and times I definitely knew he was! I miss him so much. Thought of you so much yesterday, Papa!! I think it's time to post more of the "Grandparent's Journal!"
Posted by Jami Schneider on July 4, 2013
Thinking of you today, Uncle Dave. Happy 4th of July, 2013. Your family misses you. Mike and Jami
Posted by Kelly Lopeman on March 5, 2013
(from Tony on Facebook)
Happy birthday Pappy!! Wish you could be here today to see you're great grand children, and my new pup! You'd love them and him. But its okay that you're not, its not ideal by any means, but you're safe now, secure now and at peace. So it will suffice. I love you paps. Keep watching over us. Happy birthday, I hope you're day up there is magical. Love you so
Posted by Phyllis Willis on March 4, 2013
Happy Birthday, Hon. Missing you very much today and every day, but you are always close in our hearts. Love you. Phyllis and Aspen
Posted by Christa Willis on October 26, 2012
I see another great man when I look at these pictures and that is Grandpa Willis. I am blessed to have Uncle Dave in my life and when I think of you, I can't help but smile. To me you were one of the smartest, wittiest guy ever. Miss and love you. Dot, Sol and Jane
Posted by Kelly Lopeman on July 4, 2012
Thinking of you so much today, dad! I just found out that today was your favorite holiday. How unbelievably ironic and brilliantly executed. :) I love you so much and miss you so much.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Kelly Lopeman on March 4, 2018
Thinking of you and missing you today, Papa! But I know you are watching us and helping us and I'm very grateful. We always think of you when we see 4:44 on the clock (and it happens a lot!). So happy to have you in our hearts. Love you!
Posted by Gillian Willis on July 4, 2017
Missing you today, Dave, but know you're watching over us all from Heaven.
Posted by randy willis on March 4, 2015
Happy birthday to my Dad. He's still with me and always will be. I'll bet he's having an awesome party up in heaven today, partying with his brothers and hanging with his Mom and Dad. I still think about him every day. I know he knows how much I miss him. I look forward to seeing him again, but not any time soon. I love you Dad,
Randy
Recent stories

From

Shared by Kelly Lopeman on July 4, 2012

July 1 - Describe an outside game you made up

"I'm not sure I made it up but we used to play "tin can" and a kind of field hockey using sticks and tin cans.  We also used to make elaborate rubber band games and have "wars" with them.

July 2 - Describe an inside game you made up

"I don't know if you'd cal it a game but I used to turn a kitchen chair on its face and sit with my feet and legs under the back and pretend I was flying a fighter plane in the war."

July 3 - What kind of fireworks did people have when you were a youth?

"Mostly just firecrackers and sparklers.  There wasn't a lot of the rockets and such but there were a few."

July 4 - Tell about Independence Day traditions of your childhood.

"It was always a big celebration.  Usually there'd be a family picnic and then that evening the fire department would have a fireworks display.  Always lots of watermelon at the picnic!"

July 5 - Do you have a special July 4th that you remember most?

"No.  I remember them all being very similar and very enjoyable."

July 6 - Did you ever go to carnivals or amusement parks?  Where?

"Traveling carnivals would come around every year.  Never saw an amusement park until I was an adult.  Liked the old carnivals even though when I look back they really weren't much."

July 7 - What kind of games were there?  How much did they cost?

"Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, and the good ones would have a tilt-a-whirl, always had the bb guns and balloons, and the mild bottles and baseballs.  Can't remember a thing about the prices of rides or games."

July 8 - Tell about any State Fair or County Fair experiences.

"I went to the Florida State Fair in Tampa, Florida in 1952.  It was great!  I got to see the great strip tease artist, Sally Rand.  Talked to her and got her autograph.  She was a genuine artist.  She was also as nice as homemade pie."

July 9 - Tell about going to a circus or chautauqua.

"Had no chautauqua.  Every year though Ringling Brothers circus would come to town.  We'd always try to get jobs helping to set up tents and feed and water animals.  Sucess rate?  Maybe 1 in 5."

July 10 - Tell any favorite summertime memory.

"I used to love going fishing with dad and Mr. Pavlah.  I rememer once when fishing from the bank, my bobber started running.  I had a cane pole and when I tried to bring the fish in, the pole bent almost double.  Mr. Pavlah yelled "run up the bank!"  I did just that and pulled out a beautiful bass.  Dad and John were as excited as I was after that beautiful big fish."

July 11 - Did you go fishing in your childhood?

"As you already know, many times.  I'd also go by myself down to Lodgepole Creek and catch some blue gills and some perch."

July 12 - Tell about your biggest or best catch.

"Once my brother Sol and I were fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.  I hooked something big.  Between reeling and hauling on my pole, I got worn out.  Sol took over.  He was out.  Back to me.  Back to Sol.  When we finally got it to the bank, we had an eight foot shark.  DIdn't want him in the boat with us so we cut the line and let him go." 

July 13 - Do you remember having a favorite candy?  How much did it cost?

"Don't remember a favorite kind, but I remember the cand bars were all 5 cents."

July 14 - Do you remember having a favorite snack that you made at home?

"A slice of bread covered with water and then sprinkled with sugar.  For many years that was about as close to candy as we got."

July 15 - Share a memory about going on a picnic.

"I remember the family picnics.  We'd have all the aunts and uncles, grandma and grandpa, cousins from all over.  Many times "shirt tail" relatives.  Lots of people, lots of food, lots of fun."

July 16 - What kinds of party games or party activities were popular?

"Musical chairs is about all I remember.  We played "spin the bottle" but only when there were no adults around."

July 17 - Share a memory involving a heatwave or drought.

"Air conditioning was non-existent in those days.  Every summer brought very normal summer tempoeratures that always to to be the ultimate heatwave."

July 18 - What did you do to stay cool?

"Shade.  Sometimes go down to the ice plant.  Go swimming."

July 19 - What was your favorite holiday of the year?

"Fourth of July.  Baseball games, picnics, bands, parades - the best."

July 20 - Share a birthday party memory.

"Never had a birthday party until I'd been married a long time.  Once Phyllis surprise me by having a bunch over to play poker on my birthday.  She had Doug Harlan cook up a bunch of Rocky Mountain oysters.  They were great and the party was wonderful!"

July 21 - Tell about the neatest shoes you ever owned as a youth.

"In my youth there was no "trendy" name in shoes as there is today.  We wore "tennis" shoes.  They were all black with some white trim.  Everyone wore the same brand and they all came from Montgomery Wards.  We called it "Monkey Wards" all the time."

July 22 - Share a memory about a power outage.

"The biggest power outage I remember was in the Blizzard of '49.  We were totally house-bound for three days.  Not even the trains could move.  On the fourth day we started digging out.  We were't nearly as dependent on power as we are today so while it was inconvenient, it was not too serious."

July 23 - Relate a memory involving a flood or cloudburst.

"We had very heavy rains one spring and west of Sidney the Sidney Draw flooded and the water came down Lodgepole Creek to Sidney.  It flooded the Legion Park and the low lying areas near the creek."

July 24 - Relate a memory of a tornado, hurricane, or destructive wind.

"On the Nebraska prairies wind is always a problem.  For that reason most everything is pretty well secured against an unusual blow.  I recall torndoes touching ground east of Sidney around Hastings but I don't recall any in Sidney.  We had some real winds while camping at Lake McConaughy several times."  

July 25 - What memories do you have of lightning or thunder during your childhood?

"Lightning and thunder never bothered me because we had those ferocious plains thunderstorms every spring.  I've seen lightning strike the towers I used to work on and the discharge would last 2-3 seconds.  Sometimes severely damaging equipment."

July 26 - Share a special memory about riding in a boat.

"Mom and I took a cruise to Alaska in a ship once.  Once my dad and I ran out of gas in the middle of McConaughy at 3:00 a.m.  I had to jump overboard and tow the boat to shore, about a mile and a half.  A friend, Gene Wamsly and I upset his cabin cruiser in the lake.  We made it to shore but the boat went down."

July 27 - Tell about a family vacation trip.

"Economics didn't permit us the luxury of a vacation trip.  We used to go for long drives in the country on weekends though.  We'd all sing every song we knew and we all looked forward to the rides."

July 28 - Share the best vacation experience you can recall.

"That might be the time my brother Sol, my sons Randy and Todd, and myself took my dad and my dad-in-law, Shorty, on a fishing trip to Lake Powell, Utah.  It was at the sunset of dad and Shorty's years and was a real experience for them.  I rented a pontoon boat for several days and we thoroughly enjoyed it."

July 29 - Share the most unpleasasnt vacation experience you can recall.

"Mom and I took the kids to Dot and Sol's in Utah.  We then drove up to Yellowstone then down through Jackson Hole and finally picked up the kids and went back to Colorado.  In Yellowstone, we got over a foot of snow and when we headed south, I came down with ulcers.  I was sick as a dog all the way from then on."

July 30 - Do you have any other memories about a river, lake, or beach to share?

"When I was stationed in Puerto Rico, I loved to swim off the beaches into the Caribbean Sea.  I've fished off Baja, California and Cabo San Lucas a few times and I really liked that.  When I think about lakes, etc., I always think about the many good times I had with my dad and then later with my boys."

July 31 - Tell a memory about riding on a ferry, bus, train, or plane.

"My first plane ride came the night after I enlisted in the Air Force.  They put me on a plane to San Antonio, Texas.  In the morning, I was a civilian in SIdney, Nebraska.  That night I was an airman in Texas."