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Fred Willis

Fred Willis

Dec 05, 1938

Feb 21, 2024


Fred Willis, 85 of Louisville transitioned peacefully on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, at Norton Audubon Hospital.

Visitation 9-11 Saturday, March 2, 2024 at Community Missionary Baptist Church 4909 E. Indian Trail. Funeral to follow at 11am. Burial Calvary Cemetery.

Fred Willis was born December 5, 1938, to the late Earl and Jennie Vee Ewing Willis of Columbia, Kentucky. Fred accepted Christ at a very young age and was currently a member of Community Missionary Baptist Church where he served as a trustee and loved to attend the weekly Sunday school class “Let’s Talk it Over” and dominated the discussions, especially when the topic was about political issues.

He graduated from Jackman High School in Adair County, Kentucky, In 1955 at the young age of 16, Fred was the named plaintiff in the Fred Willis vs Adair County Board of Education. This led to the successful integration of the Adair County public Schools. He was an avid University of Louisville CARDINAL fan who travelled to support both the basketball and football teams, including attending the 2013 Men’s National Championship game.

Fred was a man with a lot of interests. In 1960, he joined the US Air Force, and after his honorable discharge, he followed in his father’s footsteps and became a truck driver. In 1999, he became an independent trucker and named his truck “Earl’s Boy” in honor to his father. He was recently commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel which was to be presented in July 2024. Words cannot explain how he cherished the annual July 4th Willis Family Pig Roast which he started 43 years ago with his brothers and cousin, Randolph Ewing.

On Tuesday, February 20, 2024, at the tender age of 85, Fred Willis departed this life. He is survived by his: wife, Jean Taylor Willis of 63 years; children, Angela Cosby (Walter Cosby, Jr.) and Vince (Sharon); five grandchildren, Erika Faulkner, Walter Thomas Cosby III, DeShana Curry, Ethan Woolridge, and Ashley Bethel; three great grandchildren, Jasmine, Gabrielle, and Christian Washington; brother, Glen (Cora); brother-in-law, Clifford Taylor; sisters-in-law, Leetta Willis McWhorter (Allen) and Sheeree Willis (Charles), and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends whom he dearly loved.

Preceding him in death were his siblings, Clara Lee Flowers, Kay Francis Scott, Earlene Thomas, Ralph Willis, and James Mack Willis.

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