LoCO Staff / @ 8:13 a.m. / Obits

OBITUARY: Gary Willison, 1943-2017

Our dad, Gary Willison began his journey to reunite with his loved ones, including his grandparents, parents, our mom and his daughters.

Born on November 5, 1943 to Alvera O’Toole (Willison) and Roy Raymond Willison in Morton, Wash., Gary was the oldest of 11 children: Dale, RoseMary, Toni, Debra Lynn, Charles, Roy Jr., Michael, Pat, Larry and Jeff.

Gary was married to Vernell from Troy, Montana, then JoAnn from Iron River, Michigan. They had two children together: Lisa (passed as a infant) and a son Mike. After spending much of his life in the Midwest, he came to Northern California, married our mom Patricia (Athena) Rube. In this marriage they had three daughters: Shantelle Willison, Athena Willison and Jessica Willison, and embraced as their own Tanya Schonchin. He stepped into their marriage with there being several children belonging to my mom. The youngest and the ones he was closest to were MaryAnn Lewis and Frederick Lewis, considering them his own.

He is survived by his daughters and son with their children:

Shantelle (Russell Hayden, Per-Gish Hayden, & Chegemmem “Lexi” McCovey), Athena’s daughter Ni-Tai-Ya Willison, Jessica (Calvin McConnell and Nathaniel McConnell), Tanya Schonchin (Desmond Pope), Frederick Lewis and spouse Bonnie (Destiny Lewis). We would like to acknowledge additional loved ones: Rebecca Lewis-Campbell (Melissa, Mariah, Sam Campbell Jr), George and Dona Bailey, Linda and Tom Bartel, Spencer Lewis.

In his passing he joined: his parents (Alvera and Roy Willison), his grandparents (Fannie and Homer Willison, Edith and Henry O’Toole), his daughter Lisa, the Love of His Life Patricia Rube, and his daughters Athena Willison and MaryAnn Lewis.

His passions in life included his family and friends, gardening, woodworking, crocheting, and fishing. He held the titles of sharpshooter in Army, timber faller, sawmill worker and his favorite, truck driver.

In his last days he was surrounded by those most important in his life. Thank you to those who came to send him on his journey and those who were available by phone, day or night. And thank you for the prayers for our family as we sent him to his loved ones waiting.

A private graveside service was held.


The obituary above was submitted by Gary Willison’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.



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