In the evening hours of July 14, 2021, C. Dale Willis, Sr., 89, left this earthly life to be with family and friends on the other side of the veil. Born on December 9, 1931 to Chandler pioneers Charles H. Willis and Fern Russell Willis, he was the second child of eight and grew up on the family ranch working hard to help his dad grow cotton, corn and alfalfa. As a youth, he helped drive sheep on foot/horseback from Chandler to the White Mountains as part of the sheep business as well as spending countless hours on the Caterpillar plowing the fields and working the cattle in the feed yard on Willis Ranch.
In high-school Dale was class President each year and was elected Student Body President as a senior. He loved athletics and played on the first Chandler High School State Championship football team and then earned a track scholarship to the Universty of Arizona. When the University football team lost a player to injury, the coach approached Dale while he ws practicing the hurdles on the track and asked him to play on the football team. Dale agreed and loved it! He also rodeoed while at the U of A, much to the chagrin of the football coach. All that bull-dogging and roping caught up to him later in life but his love of rodeo never died.
Dale served The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, first as a missionary in North Carolina on the Cherokee reservation and later as a Bishop of both a family and young single adult ward. His favorite service to the Savior was spent as an ordinance worker for both the Mesa and Gilbert Temples. He also served his community as a member of the SRP Council for 21 years.
Dale married Ila Jane Moss in July1957 in the Mesa Temple. They raised three wonderful childen while livng in Chandler; Dale Jr., Allen and Janie. After he was widowed, Dale married Tammie Alldredge in March 2002.
Dale is survived by his wife, Tammie, children C. Dale, Jr. (Shellie), Allen (Kathryn) and Jane Anne Peppler (Phil) and step-daughters Holly Russell (Jonathan) and Meredith Kabi (Neil). Dale also leaves behind grandchildren Jon Willis (Angela), Kacey Hammar (Tim), Ryan Willis (Dallyn), Kaitlyn Winward (Colton), Garrett Willis, ScottWillis, McKenzie Willis, Annie Brooks (Logan), Charlie Peppler, Ian Russell, Campbell Russell, Ainsley Russell, Alex Kabi and Lulu Kabi. Additionally, Dale has fifteen great-grandchildren who brought him great joy. Dale is also survived by his siblings Reed Willis (Janice), Golda Norton (Brooks), Kenny Willis, Carol Gale (Howard) and Dwight Willis (Yodit). His brother Jay and sister Lenell predecease him.
Dale will be remembered in a Celebration of His Life on Saturday, July 24 at 11:00am in the Chandler East Stake Building, 21320 South Greenfield Road, Gilbert, Arizona 85298. A viewng will preceed the funeral at 10:00am. Additionally, there will a be a viewing at Bueler’s Mortuary on Friday, July 23rd between 6-8pm.
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