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Jamey Clair Willis, age 61, died unexpectedly riding motorcycle on a beautiful rural Nebraska road on August 27th, 2020.
He was born March 29, 1959 in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, the eldest son of Clair and Marlene Willis. He graduated from Cannon Falls High School in 1978, North Dakota State School of Science in 1980, and Dakota County Technical College in 1991.
He married his high school sweetheart Beth Pettit-Willis on December 27th, 1980. Together, they raised a family while traveling the country throughout his wife’s military service. They eventually settled down in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2011. Jamey loved his family first and foremost, and was especially proud of his children having each grown with loving families of their own. Although he treasured Colorado, Jamey’s heartfelt sense of home was always Cannon Falls and the Willis’ family cabin in Barronett, Wisconsin.
Despite times of challenging health, his boundless energy for outdoor adventure never ceased. He was an avid lifelong mountain biker, motorcycle enthusiast, and talented archer. Always looking for a thrill; he’d elbow nudge close family and friends to the push the limits. He’d scrutinize for the next “braaaap” throttle thrilling line; daring himself and others to give it a go. These moments ended with big belly laughs in every attempt. Somehow, Jamey could motivate even the most reluctant participant to join in a game of flag football, a hula hoop contest, or a mean game of badminton.
Jamey was a true “Jack of all Trades”. Following his father’s footsteps, he possessed an uncanny creativity to “Willitize” the unfixable, repair the worn, or create something so out of the norm yet so practical. Jamey found great joy helping and teaching others. His endearing natural charm, witty humor, and helpful spirit won the hearts of everyone he met. His diverse work history and talents included electrical motor repair, logging, cement laborer, small engine repair, auto restoration, industrial maintenance, home remodeling, bus driver, nurse, USA Archery Level II Coach, and Temple Keeper.
Jamey is survived by Beth, his loving wife of 40 years; their three children Summer (Travis) Slone, Calloway (Alyssa) Willis, Nadine (Johnathan) Hall; his brother David (Colleen) Willis and sister Peggy (David) Harmin; his five grandchildren Oliver Slone, Brianna Slone, Zoe Slone, Elliot Willis, and Etta Willis. Additionally, he’ll missed by the family dog; Burley (Burl Man) Willis and his grand-dogs Guss and Penny, Sophie and Buddy. He was preceded in death by his adored parents, Marlene (Berg) Willis and Clair Willis, and loving sister Terry Walker.
A memorial gathering will be held on Thursday, September 10 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at Hannah’s Bend Park, Cannon Falls. A Celebration of Life service will follow at 3:00 pm.
In respect for all, please wear masks and maintain social distancing.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jamey's name to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW.STATE.CO.US).