Friday, May 17, 2013

SMSgt (Ret.) Joe D. Willard has Passed Away

I regret to inform you of the untimely death of Joe Don Willard, SMSgt, USAF, Ret. on April 6, 2013 at the age of 82 as the result of a accidental fall.

Joe was born in Highpoint, NC to the late Charles E. and Ila Mae Jackson Willard. He was a retired Director of Quantico National Cemetery starting the upon its opening in 1983, veteran of the US Army and retired veteran of Combat Control, and of the Baptist faith.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Charles Willard Jr.; sister Dorthy Ray Hornady. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Willard; sons Joe D. Willard Jr., of McMinnville and Mitchell Vance (Lesa) Willard of Murfreesboro; daughters, Cindy M. (Leroy) Groves of Murfreesboro, Debbie Kay (Jack) Sinkey of Cabot, AR, Josie Willard of Murfreesboro and Jess Willard (Clayton) Grayum of Murfreesboro; nine grandchildren; six great Grandchildren.

Joe was one of the first few Combat Controllers to attain the rank of Senior Master Sergeant during the late 1960’s while he was stationed at Travis AFB, CA. His first Combat Control assignment was at Sewart AFB, TN sometime between 1957-1962.

Joe was one of the finest Combat Controller that I have ever had the privilege of serving with.

Rest in Peace,

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