Willis Weaver, an uncommonly good common man.
Willis Henry Weaver, 93, of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, passed away quietly on July 15, 2019, on a beautiful
Monday afternoon in the home he built brick by brick and board by board and lived in for over six decades. He passed peacefully next to his bay window, where he often sat watching the birds and passing clouds, and where he greeted his many visitors. He spent his last days with a good many of his family and friends, some who traveled hundreds of miles to pay tribute to a man they dearly loved.
Willis was born on November 24, 1925, in Vancouver, Washington, the first child of Charles Vernon
Weaver and Katherine Margaret (Scherpf) Weaver. His brother, Radley Weaver, and his sister, Ardelle Weaver Binder, passed away before him and is survived by Britton Weaver of Roseburg, Oregon. One of the highlights of Willis's life was on December 31, 1947, when he married the love of his life, Sandra Ruth Smalley, who preceded him in death on February 12, 2013. They had five children, Jeffery Weaver, Jennifer Weaver Wilkerson, Cynthia Weaver Frady, Eric Weaver, and Edwin Weaver. Willis has nineteen grandchildren, twenty-eight great-grandchildren, and twelve great-great-grandchildren and two more on the way.
He attended grade school east of Canyonville and graduated from Myrtle Creek High in 1943. Shortly
after graduating, Willis joined the United States Navy, where he became a radarman aboard the good ship Triumph stationed in the South Pacific Theater. He celebrated VJ Day in Guam on August 15, 1945. On August 6, 1950, he was recalled into the Navy and served in Korea until December of 1951. Willis was incredibly proud of his military service and shared many stories of his time at sea during the war. He knew the location of all his friends and family who were in the Navy and made a point to look them up, often surprising them. If ever there was a man who valued family and friends, it was Willis. He cherished his time with his children and especially his grandchildren. He came alive when they came to visit. And for a few people who had the pleasure of listening to him tell a story he thought was funny and watching him laugh uncontrollably, with tears of joy streaming down his face, was something unforgettable. In the last few years, he took extra delight in new additions to the family, often holding newborns with care and tenderness belying his age and large callused hands. Willis was a rare man who believed in hard work and took pride in working with his hands. Not many could keep up with him. He could do almost any job, from rebuilding farm equipment and cars, to being a master welder, to name a few. He was a member of Lodge #38 and Canyon Encampment #78 for 73 years.
Willis enjoyed the outdoors, especially fly fishing and elk hunting, both of which he mastered. He was famous for his venison jerky smoke-cured in an old-fashioned smokehouse. It took days to make and involved having to tend to the fire day and night. Countless grandchildren cut their teeth chewing on Grandpa's jerky. It was so good that even his vegan granddaughter loved it.
Willis was a quiet legend in Myrtle Creek where he lived a good life and treated people with dignity, kindness, generosity, and above all, fairness. All will miss him.
There will be a memorial service at Mountain View Funeral Home in Tri-City on July 27, 2019, at 11 a.m. and graveside services 1 p.m. at Oddfellow’s Cemetery in Myrtle Creek. In place of flowers, please contribute to the American Cancer.