Stuart Willits

Stuart Willits

Funeral services for Stuart A. “Stu” Willits, 74, Atalissa, were held Monday, Oct. 10, 2016 at the West Liberty Community Center. Burial, with military honors, was in Oakdale cemetery, Wilton.

Mr. Willits died Oct. 5 at his home.

The son of William Arnold and Anna Hartman Willits, he was born Dec. 14, 1941. He was proud to say he received the last diploma presented by New Boston high school before its closing in 1960. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1960 to 1964. He married Wilma “Bunny” VanDusen Axsom on Aug. 12, 1993 in Muscatine.

Mr. Willits had worked as a tugboat captain for several years on the Mississippi River, in the maintenance department with Aledo hospital and later for Heinz in Muscatine. He also worked four years in American Samoa with Starkist and most recently served as the project manager for the jail expansion for Muscatine county.

He enjoyed flying model airplanes, was a pilot and enjoyed riding his motorcycle. His greatest joy was following his children and grandchildren in all of their activities. He also loved traveling to the Black Hills, history, reading and his dog Sally.

Survivors include his wife; five children, Tony (Andrea) Tharp, Penny Farms, Fla.; Cindy (Mark) Becker, Atalissa; Rob (Kim) Axsom, West Liberty; Ronda (Corie) Peterson, West Liberty; and Renee (Brandon) Harned, West Liberty; 12 grandchildren, Josh, Sara, Tyler, T.J., Brett, KyLeigh, Seth, Hayley, Morgan, Brookelyn, Brittney and Kenley; two great-grandchildren; and a sister, Madge Douglas, Monmouth, Ill.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Dixie; and a son, Shawn.

A memorial fund has been established.

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