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Obituary: James “Berle” Willis

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12/19/1934 – 10/8/2022
Edmund, OK

On Saturday, October 8, 2022, James “Berle” Willis, of Edmund, OK, beloved father, husband, and music teacher, passed away at age 87.

Berle was born on December 19, 1934, in Wellington, Kansas to Ethridge and Fae (Downen) Willis. After serving in the Army during the Korean war, he received his BA from Wichita State University in 1959 and began a teaching career that spanned four decades in the Wichita public school system. Berle had a knack for teaching young people to play musical instruments.

On August 11, 1956, he married Maurine (Schrag) Willis. They raised three children, Becky, Diane, and Scott.

Berle was preceded in death by his wife Maurine, his son Scott, and his parents. His second wife, Darlene (Shore) Martin, also preceded him in death. He is survived by his daughters Becky (Lisa) LaBlanc-Willis, Diane (Bob) Knapic, and grandsons Soren, and Reece Knapic, all of Lawrence, KS.

The funeral will be a private gathering of close family members.


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