Our gift shop is currently unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Robert P. Willis

October 24, 2022

Service Details

Robert P. Willis, 99, of Des Moines, passed away Monday, October 24, 2022, at Trinity Center in Des Moines.

Robert was born in Big Sandy, Montana on April 15, 1923. He was the eldest son to Mary Ethel (Park) & James M. Willis.

Upon graduation from Chariton High School, he attended junior college in Chariton, IA. In 1942, at age 19, he joined the Navy and was assigned to a destroyer in the Atlantic fleet, the USS Somers DD-381. He was discharged from service in December 1945. He then completed college at Iowa State College in 1949, with a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture. In 1965, he took a year’s sabbatical from his Des Moines Parks Dept position and worked on his Master’s degree in Park Management at Michigan State University, in East Lansing.

He married Avis Hahn on August 4, 1946 at the Lutheran Church in Kingston, WI and they were married until November 7, 1957, when she passed away after a brief illness.
On December 27, 1959, he married Vivian Millang and she became step-mother to his four children.

Robert Willis is survived by his brothers Alfred and Richard (Jeanne); four children, Norman (Charlotte) Willis, Gail (Iven) Brush, Alane Houck, and Arnold (Carol) Willis; eight grandchildren; eight great grandchildren; and three great great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his baby brother Benjamin, sisters Mary Bell Schneider and Elaine Miller, his first wife Avis and his second wife, Vivian.

Funeral service to begin at 1 pm Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 at Mount Olive Cemetery, Randall, Iowa.

In lieu of flowers or memorial contributions, please consider planting a tree in his name.