DECATUR -- Tommy Lee Willis, 87, of Decatur, IL, departed his life on Friday, June 23, 2017, in Saint Mary's Hospital.
Tommy was born on January 20, 1934, in Tunica, MS. He was the son of Florence (Baker) Hicks and Allen Willis, but was raised and reared by Willie Lee Hicks, Sr. Years later, Tommy relocated to Galveston, TX, where he proudly joined the United States Army. After honorably discharged, he relocated to Memphis, TN. He later decided it was time to move closer to his family in Decatur, IL where his parents and siblings lived.
Tommy married Audrey Shaw-White Willis in 1956, from their union, nine children were born. Audrey preceded him in death June 21, 2010. Tommy worked at Wagner's Casting Company from 1962 until 1987. After leaving Wagner's Casting Company, he returned to his previous employment in construction where he worked in Springfield, IL and Jacksonville, IL until he retired again in 1997. Tommy was baptized and attended church in his younger years and early adulthood but converted to Islam in the 1970's. Tommy was a member of the Masijid Walihasan, Decatur, IL where he practiced and believed in the teaching and studies from the [Qur'an] of Islam and Prophet Muhammed.
He is survived by his children; Debra Willis of Decatur, IL, Keith (Glenna Sears – Willis) of Clinton, IL, Lawania (Alex) Karaka of Decatur, IL,, Byron (Darla) Willis, of Springfield, IL, Tracey (Rashawn Whitelow) Willis of Decatur, IL, Xavier Willis of Decatur, IL, Erica (Kevin) Joyner of Decatur, IL, Nikki (Corey Garner) Willis of St. Louis, MO; 20 grandchildren, 19 great- grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren; his siblings, Katie Apple and Fred Lowe both of St. Paul, MN, Dave Hicks, James Hicks, Clyde Hicks, all of Decatur, IL.
Tommy was preceded in death by his parents; his step-father, Willie Hicks; his wife, Audrey; two sons, Victor Willis and Gregory Willis; three brothers, Charles Lowe, Willie Hicks, Jr. and Roosevelt Hicks; and a host of other close loving family members that departed this life before him.
Homegoing services to celebrate the life of Tommy Lee Willis will be 11 a.m. Saturday, July 1, 2017, at Moran & Goebel Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday before the service at the funeral home. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery.
The family of Tommy Lee Willis is being served by the Moran & Goebel Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2801 N. Monroe St., Decatur, IL 62526. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.morangoebel.com.