May 26, 1931 — Oct. 26, 2022
James Jackson Wills, 91, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022, at Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee.
James “Jim” was born in Spokane in 1931 to Seth and Claire Wills and was raised alongside his two sisters, Patricia, and Joan, in the Spokane Valley. During Jim’s younger years, he stayed busy and productive with school and Boy Scout activities, he delivered newspapers from the back of his horse, raised chickens, went hunting and fishing with his dad, and traveled often with his family to their beloved cabin at Priest Lake.
In 1949, Jim became an official “COUG” at Washington State University. He became a member of Phi Sigma Kappa and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. While at WSU, Jim met the love of his life, Joyce Henderson Wills, and they were married in Vancouver, Wash., and shared 65 years of marriage.
Jim was a business owner of three restaurants in Cheney and Spokane, and then he and the family moved to Pullman in 1965 and for the duration of his career, Jim worked in the office of Grants and Research Development at WSU. They were active members of the United Church of Christ in Pullman. Jim’s life was one of service — first to his family and then to his community.
Jim and Joyce raised four children and spent time at their family cabin at Priest Lake making lifelong, precious memories. Boating, hiking, picking huckleberries, skiing, swimming and campfires at the beach were favorite pastimes. The lake cabin continues to be a source of joy for the family, and while it is a precious place for all, it will never be the same without their beloved dad, papa and granddad.
In April of 2016, Jim and Joyce moved from Pullman to East Wenatchee to be closer to their extended family.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce; his parents, Seth and Claire Wills; and his sister Patricia Thomas. He is survived by his sister Joan Peterson, of Lacey, Wash.; four children, Sherri Wills, Howard “Skip” Wills, Susan Miller (Richard), and Nancy Barrett (Dan); six grandchildren, James Wiley, Ben Wiley (Kate), Jessica Drake, Kaitlynn Barrett-Ashbaugh (Greg), Max Miller and Claire Krause; and four great-grandchildren, Sylvan and Rheya Wiley, and Tristan and Benjamin Wiley.
Chapel of the Valley of East Wenatchee is in charge of arrangements.