The Obit For Paul Willis

Paul H. Willis
Thursday, December 16, 2010

Paul H. Willis, 86, of Sterling, died Dec. 7.

He was born Sept. 29, 1924, in Caswell County, North Carolina to Jennie Lunsford Willis and Peter Paul Willis.

A pitcher, he played professional baseball for the New York Giants organization in the 1940s. In 1950, the young family moved from Danville to Washington, DC, where he begain a more than 30-year career with the Smithsonian Institution as a master carpenter. He served as supervisor of the Smithsonian Cabinet Shop and from 1956-1988 was in charge of all construction for the Smithsonian. He was responsible for construction of the elephant in the Rotunda of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum among other projects.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years Audrey Slade Willis of Sterling; sons Paul Thompson Willis of Shepherdstown, WV, Daniel Dale Willis of Nashville, TN, and Philip David Willis of Sterling; daughter Rebecca Willis Dean of Sterling; nine grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and sisters Mildred Laughon of Burlington, NC, and Nancy Shelton of Yanceyville, NC. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased his brothers Jimmy Willis and Mack Willis and sister Anne Swicegood.

Services were held Dec. 10 at the Leesburg Church of the Nazarene. Interment was at Sterling Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Leesburg Church of the Nazarene Ministries, 17667 Roxbury Hall Road, Leesburg, VA 20175.