Richard "Steve" Willis

Born in NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE on June 22, 1946

Departed on February 12, 2020 and resided in HENDERSONVILLE, TENNESSEE

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Mr. Richard Steven “Steve” Willis, age 74, passed away peacefully on February 12, 2020 surrounded by his family and friends. He was born on June 22, 1946 to the late Richard Harold Willis and Patti Allen Willis of Old Hickory, TN.
Steve had a larger than life personality. He never met a stranger, and if you knew him you loved him. His smile was contagious and his hugs could erase any sadness or fears.

Steve graduated from Dupont High School in 1964 and then attended Tennessee Tech University. He then graduated with a MBA from Tennessee State University, where he then met the love of his live, Mrs. Cosandra Callis and they were married on June 6, 1970.
He proudly served his country as a Navigator in the US Navy and later rose to the rank of Lieutenant. He worked in banking for many years before venturing into the insurance business and running his own agency until he retired.

One of Steve’s greatest joys was being a “Poppy” to his grandchildren. One of his many loves was spending time at the baseball field watching his grandsons playing ball. He always beamed with pride watching his granddaughter dance.

Steve is survived by his loving wife, Cosandra “Sandy” Willis; daughters, Stephanie Willis Vaughn (Nathan) and Traci Willis Layne (David); his adored grandchildren, Nathan “Nate” Vaughn, Hayden Layne, Savannah Vaughn, and Landon Vaughn; sister, Kimberly Jean Willis and Cornelia Willis Forehand; and brother in law, Terry Proctor.

A life celebration will be held 11am, Saturday, February 15th at Indian Lake Peninsula Church with visitation on Friday from 4-8pm at the church and also one hour prior to the service on Saturday. Burial will be at Hendersonville Memory Gardens.

22 Comments to Richard "Steve" Willis

  1. Virginia (Hearn) Pryor---TRHS-1965
    February 13, 2020 4:37 pm

    Sandy, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Vince Hudson
    February 13, 2020 4:44 pm

    My love, condolences and prayers to all of you.

  3. Debra
    February 13, 2020 5:09 pm

    Laughter surrounded our friend! He delighted us with his cheerful personality and loving way. We are sad for the family but know there is joy in heaven as he shares in the brightness of eternity with the Savior!

  4. Janice & Keith Christopher
    February 13, 2020 5:09 pm

    Much sympathy & love. My heart is breaking for you all. May you have peace. You have our prayers always.

  5. Pam Redden
    February 13, 2020 7:34 pm

    He was so loved. We love you all!
    Pam and Jack

  6. Pam Redden
    February 13, 2020 7:34 pm

    He was so loved. We love you all!
    Pam and Jack

  7. H. Roger Bartley
    February 13, 2020 8:15 pm

    I recruited Steve to Nationwide and he was an outstanding! To the family please accept my deepest sympathy at this difficult time and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Chuck Adams #165
    February 13, 2020 8:50 pm

    Richard Steven “Steve” Willis was a Brother in the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity’s TN Delta Chapter (Bond #2) at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN. As one of the Founding Brothers of TN Delta, his presence was essential in the Chapter’s early successes. His absence is keenly and deeply felt by all who follow in his footsteps. In Coelo Quies Est.

  9. Steve Desirey
    February 13, 2020 9:00 pm

    So sorry to learn that Steve has been called to heaven. It was not without many acts of kindness, success in sports , his love for family and his friends from Tennessee Tech. He is on a new mission now to have his work and tests go and win the battle with multiple myeloma by finding a cure through his many tests. His service will be victorious and lives will be saved for the contributions he has made.

  10. Judi Hebden
    February 13, 2020 9:29 pm

    So sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. Skip,and I have not been in touch for years but we fondly remember our younger days at DuPont High, Tenn Tech STO, Phi Delt and yes the Navy. Wishing you and your family peace with your loss. Love, Judi and Skip Hebden

    February 13, 2020 11:31 pm

    My heart goes out to Steve and his family. I went to DuPont and Cumberland College with him. He was a “force to be dealt with” and I’ve had some great times with him. Rest in Peace Steve. The fun we had at Cumberland (you were “Mr. Everything” }and amazing and I only have fond memories of you. I’m grateful for your presence in my life. and wish we’d stayed in touch but understand completely how that frequently doesn’t happen. Seems you lived a good and happy life. To the family, I am so sorry for your loss. He was a great human being!

  12. Morgan Newton
    February 13, 2020 11:41 pm

    I’m so heartbroken to hear about his passing!

    Sandy and family, I’m sending up prayers for all of you!

  13. Tom Haygood
    February 14, 2020 7:11 am

    Sandy, Gail and I are praying for you and family. Steve fought a battle with a terrible disease. Never saw him without a smile on his face.

  14. Louise Russell Plaisted
    February 14, 2020 9:13 am

    This came as a real shock to me! It is difficult losing yet another old friend!! Steve was a big part of my life back in our high school days at Dupont! I am so happy to know he had such a wonderful life and precious family! My sincere sympathy and prayers for his loved ones and all those who held him so dear!!

  15. Kathy Borum
    February 14, 2020 10:03 am

    I have such fond childhood memories of traveling to gymnastics meets with Traci and Daddy Willis. He was the light of Christ to so many. Praying for you, Traci, Steph and Sandy! Love you!

  16. Lynda Jones
    February 14, 2020 10:44 am

    Steve, you will not be forgotten. Your legacy will live on through your children, grandchildren and more. I always loved your hugs even just in passing you in the hall and you were in conversation with someone. Your arm always reached out for a quick hug and all would be ok with the world,

  17. David Christopher
    February 14, 2020 4:49 pm

    Truly sorry to hear about this loss of a great man he will be missed!!! Wishing the best for his family!

  18. Diane Barbee
    February 14, 2020 5:28 pm

    Traci I am so sorry, My prayers are with you

  19. Tammy Hayes
    February 14, 2020 11:32 pm

    Jonathan and I extend our deepest heartfelt sorrow as you grieve so great a loss. Sandy, Stepahnie, and your families are in our hearts and prayers. May God’s tender comfort and peace see you through these difficult days.
    Steve always had a welcoming smile and was an encouragement to us!! Love you all! 🙏🏼❤️

  20. Michael Jaynes #451
    February 15, 2020 9:26 am

    Prayers for father family. In Coelo Quies Est, Brother. Thank you for all your leadership.

  21. Tre Hargett
    February 16, 2020 8:50 am

    What an incredible person with a deep love for his family and his Savior. I will continue to pray fo all of you during this time of grief. Tre

  22. Kim McNeill
    March 31, 2020 12:03 am

    Sandy, Stephanie & Traci, I just learned of Steve’s passing on DuPont alumni website. I am so sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed working for Steve in 96-98 as well as in Banking & have some great memories of him. God Bless all of you, my deepest sympathy. Kim McNeill

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