Obituary: Barbara Ruth Willis-Keagy
January 7, 2013
Barbara Ruth Willis-Keagy died on Jan. 1, 2013. She had been a long-time resident of Carson City, Nev. until she moved to McMinnville, Oregon four years ago to be closer to her son and his family. Born Barbara Ruth Chapman on Sep. 24, 1919 in Oakland, Calif., she was the daughter of Lionel Brooks and Margaret Augusta (Hanell) Chapman. She was 93 years old. Barbara married J. Vern Willis, Jr. on June 21, 1942, and had two sons, J. Vern Willis III of McMinnville and Dr. Frederick Hanell Willis. After J. died, she married Donald Keagy in 1998.
Barbara was a lady in every sense of the word: gracious, proud, thoughtful, intelligent, neat in body and mind, and dearly loved by all who knew her.
She was socially active throughout her life. While she attended San Jose State College, where she earned a teacher’s degree in 1942, she held several class positions, including Class President two years. After she married, she was active in the Officer’s Wives Clubs, garden clubs, bridge clubs, and the P.E.O. Sisterhood.
She enjoyed being the wife of an Air Force pilot, residing in many parts of the country as her husband was given new assignments to different locations.
She is survived by her son, J. Vern Willis and daughter-in-law, Karen; grandchildren, Amanda, Matthew, and Andrew Willis of McMinnville; sister, Hazel Parkins of Carson City; sister-in-law, Lucy Anne Chapman; niece, Susan Howland, and nephew, William “Chip” Chapman. She was predeceased by both of her husband; brother, William Hanell Chapman, and son, Rick. Barbara will be cremated and her ashes will be buried next to those of her first husband at the Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, Nevada. Arrangements are pending.