Willis, Joseph James Samuel (Joe)

Written by ECA Review


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Joseph James Samuel Willis (Joe), our much-loved husband, dad, grampa, great-grandpa, brother, uncle and friend.

Joe was born in the Haynes district on July 17, 1934 and resided there until the family moved to Lacombe in 1944. 

In 1954 he moved with his family to Drumheller where he started his career as a power lineman with Canadian Utilities, which then became Alberta Power and now Atco. 

He worked in Drumheller, Hanna and Castor where he retired in 1991 after 34 years of service. 

Joe was a farmer at heart and after retirement he took great pleasure in helping two of his many farmer friends with their spring and fall work. 

He moved back to Lacombe in 1999 where he resided until his passing on Jan. 25, 2022.

Joe’s mannerisms were slow but his humour was quick. The only way to know you’d been “had” was by the twinkle in his eye and his quiet belly laugh. 

He grew his beard long each winter with the hopes that, along with his white hair and blue eyes, the kids would call him Santa, which made his day. Friends and family meant everything to him.

Joe was predeceased by his son Darcy, parents Mabel and Rod Willis, sisters Susan and June and his “partner in crime” brother Jack. 

He is lovingly remembered by his wife of 66 years Shirley, son Rick (Debbie) Willis, daughter Jackie (Les) Williams, a proud grandpa to granddaughters Richelle (Joel), Alex (Cam), Kennedy (Lance), Erin (Wade) and to #1 grandson Matthew as well as great granddaughters Emma, Roe and Collins. 

He is also survived by his “baby” sister Sharon “Sam” (John) Dilworth and extended family and many friends.

We will remember Joe as a quiet, unassuming man with endless patience and a comforting presence – a kind and gentle soul.

Memorial service to be announced at a later date.

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ECA Review

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