Cover photo for Howard B. Willis Jr.'s Obituary
Howard B. Willis Jr. Profile Photo

Howard B. Willis Jr.

Howard passed away, Wednesday, February 1, 2023 at Rose Arbor Hospice in Kalamazoo.

He was born September 15, 1955 in Kalamazoo, the son of Howard Sr. and Marian (Mastin) Willis. Howard proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy. For over 30 years he worked at General Motors until his retirement 20 years ago.

In his free time Howard was a professional dart player and enjoyed bowling on many area leagues over the years. He loved fishing and attending his grandchildren’s sporting events. On February 10, 1977 in Kalamazoo he married Lou Ann Morse who survives.

Also surviving are his children, Keisha (Steve Lock) Willis of Galesburg and Shaun (Gloria Nino) Willis of Comstock; 7 grandchildren, Secilie (Cody), Cayden, Gavin, Julian, Maliyah, Azael “Ozzy” and Ryker; siblings, Evelyn (Steve) Pyle, Trudy (Steve) Fabianjic, Andrea (Jim) Irwin, Jody (Jack) Osborne, Pete Willis and Tricia Willis along with many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard Willis Sr. and Marian Caruthers and brother, Bennett Willis.

According to his wishes cremation has taken place.

Friends may visit with Howard’s family starting at 10:00 A.M., Tuesday, February 7, 2023 at the Winkel Funeral Home in Otsego, until the time of the memorial service at 11:00 A.M., with celebrant Nyla Merrill officiating.

Contributions in memory of Howard may be made to Toys for Tots.

Messages of condolence may be posted at


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Condolence Messages

Rocky Bellenger

February 1, 2023 at 9:07 pm

Sorry for your loss, Keisha & Shaun + family. My uncle had one of the best sense of humors of anyone I’ve ever known. He taught Jason and I, to not become “sidewalk sissies” growing up. My best memories were days out on the lake and family get togethers. His spirit will be missed.


verne myers

February 2, 2023 at 9:32 am

I remember so well what an Entertainer you were as a little boy. You had a smile that won many Hearts. Please know that Aunt Shirley will keep you in my heart, You did a Awesome job of being , ELVIS.God Bless You. Love and Prayers Aunt Shirley, Uncle Bill, April, Tommy, And the Myers Children.


Patricia Bennett Willis

February 2, 2023 at 12:52 pm

Very sad life but now God will take care of him.


Elisha Richards

February 3, 2023 at 8:32 pm

Rest in peace (Rambo) Rocky you will be missed . Much love to his family


Robert J. Reist Jr.

February 3, 2023 at 9:00 pm

Evelyn, Trudy, Andrea, and Jody, I am so very sorry and sad to hear about Rocky’s passing. You, your families, and Rocky’s family are in my thoughts and prayers. Please accept my sincere condolences and pass them on to Rocky’s family and friends.


Mike Tallmadge

February 6, 2023 at 3:00 pm

Rocky we had a lot of great times at Big lake when we were young. Making bonfire on the public landing and hanging out with our girlfriends. I’m really going to miss you and I miss your Mom too. Thank you for all the great times and for the family be strong be courageous and know that Rocky was a beautiful person


Trudy Fabijancic

February 6, 2023 at 8:01 pm

Dear brother, As you were the only boy with four sisters, you managed to turn me into a tomboy. I am not complaining mind you, but thanking you. I am so grateful that you got me into playing sports. When you took me with you to play ball with your friends you always chose me to be on your team. When you needed batting practice I would pitch to you even when you hit line drives into my knees. I would cry and go in the house but you always talked me into pitching again. Some day we will be on the same team again, until then, you better practice! Love You Always, The Tomboy


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