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William "Bill" Eugene Willett

October 8, 1927 ~ October 1, 2020 (age 92)

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William "Bill" Willett, age 92, of Hannibal, MO passed away at 7:00 am Thursday, October 1, 2020, at Willow Care Rehabilitation & Health Care Center.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 am Tuesday, October 6, 2020, at Holy Family Catholic Church. Fr. Matthew Flatley and Fr. Mike Quinn will officiate. Burial will be in the Grand View Burial Park. Full Military Honors provided by Emmette J. Shields American Legion Post #55 will follow the service.

The Mass will be streamed live via Smith Funeral Home & Chapel Facebook page and will be able to be viewed on Bill's memorial page at www.smithfuneralhomeandchapel.com Tuesday evening.

Visitation celebrating Bill's life will be held Monday, October 5, 2020, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Smith Funeral Home & Chapel with a prayer service held at 4:45 p.m.

Bill was born on October 8, 1927, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Francis and Marie (Wheeler) Willett.

He was united in marriage to Martha Neal Powell on July 21, 1956, in Blessed Sacrament Church in Hannibal, MO. Martha preceded him in death on November 15, 2019.

Survivors include two sons, Joe Willett (Karla) of Daphne, AL, Eddie Willett (Janet) of Hannibal, MO; daughter-in-law, Lisa Willett of Hannibal, MO, grandchildren, Nick Willett (Jen) of Springfield, MO, Ben Willett of Daphne, AL, Beau Willett (Jam) of Mesa, AZ, Lucas Willett (Breeanne) of Mesa, AZ; , Annie Massie (Brent) of Hannibal, MO and great grandchildren, Chace Massie, Lukas Willett, Noah Willett, Oliver Willett, Gabby Willett and Mica Willett. Also surviving are his brother Jack Willett (Madelyn) and sister-in-law Carolyn Willett.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, his son, Bob Willett, his brother, Francis "Moe" Willett, his sisters, Rosie Willett, SSND, and Evelyn Tapley (Marshall).

Bill graduated from McCooey High School in 1945 and went on to honorably serve his country in the Navy during WWII and in the Army during the Korean War. During the Korean War, he served in the 17th infantry "Buffalo" regiment. Mr. Willett was awarded a combat infantry badge for exemplary performance in ground combat.

Professionally Bill worked as a machinist for Gardner-Denver until he retired in 1986.

Bill was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church, a 4th degree in Knights of Columbus 907, and past member of the Emmette J. Shields American Legion. He was a very faithful donor to the American Red Cross blood drives. His blood donations totaled 149 units or 18 gallons. Some people called him Daddy Bill or Handsome, while others preferred Mr. Willett or Pawpaw. Memories of him will be treasured by many, such as summer days spent at his camp on the Salt River fishing or pitching horseshoes; or Sunday mornings spent ushering at church followed by afternoons packed in his living room watching football; or even early mornings at the YMCA swimming laps or jogging. Bill was one of a kind!

Pallbearers will be Steve Fohey, Tom Murphy, Mark Fohey, Nick Willett, Jerry Distler and Randy Wheeler.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Red Cross (Blood Services) or the Knights of Columbus Council 907, in care of Smith Funeral Home & Chapel.

Online condolences may be made to the family, video tribute and funeral mass may be viewed on William's "Bill" memorial page at www.smithfuneralhomeandchapel.com

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William "Bill" Eugene Willett, please visit our floral store.

Committal Service


Prayer Service
October 5, 2020

4:45 PM
Smith Funeral Home & Chapel
2619 St. Mary's Ave.
Hannibal, MO 63401

October 5, 2020

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Smith Funeral Home & Chapel
2619 St. Mary's Ave.
Hannibal, MO 63401

Mass of Christian Burial
October 6, 2020

10:00 AM
Holy Family Catholic Church
1111 Broadway
Hannibal, MO 63401


American Red Cross
P.O. Box 4002018, Des Moines IA 50340
Tel: 1-800-733-2767
Web: http://www.redcross.org/

Knights of Columbus Council #907
#1 Columbus Road, Hannibal MO 63401

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