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Donnabelle Willis

March 17, 1921 — March 28, 2018

Donnabelle Willis

Obituary for Donnabelle M. Willis

Donnabelle Muriel Willis (Brown), 97, passed away on Wednesday March 28, 2018 at her home in Colorado Springs, CO.

Donnabelle was born on March 17th, 1921, in Iowa to Clarence Edward and Muriel Berniece (Thompson) Brown. She graduated from Wiota High School in 1939. She married Raymond Willis on December 10, 1940. Three days shy of their first anniversary they awoke to the news of the Pearl Harbor attack. Raymond was a military officer and would soon depart to serve the war effort in the Pacific. After the war, she followed Raymond to live and experience new places around the world. She lived in Missouri, Michigan, Indiana, Germany, & Japan, eventually settling in Colorado with her husband and children. She later returned to Iowa where she spent much of her later life around family. Eventually the mountains made their call to her again, and she would find herself back in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This is where she spent her last remaining years; never tiring of the beautiful view of Pikes Peak.

Donnabelle was a talented singer. While living in Germany she studied opera, and she also sang with the Sweet Adaline Choir in Colorado Springs. She wrote beautiful poetry and went on to become a published poet. She loved nature, birds, and taking walks; her love of nature can be found passed down to the generations below her. She was fun-loving and had a wonderful sense of humor. Donnabelle was ahead of her time, she was open to diversity, and taught her children that it was important not to judge others, "Never judge a book by its cover" was not only taught, but more importantly, shown to her children. In the weeks before her passing, she was able to be surrounded with conversation and love with her children and grandchildren. She recently was asked what her favorite memory was; and her answer was simple - having her five children. Her heart will live on in her poetry, in her teachings, and in the hearts of her family.

Donnabelle will be deeply missed by her five children, Raymond Willis and his wife, Ginny of Colorado, Dennis Willis of New Mexico, Robert Willis and his wife, Debbie of Colorado, Gerilee Hughes and her husband, Robert (Bob) of Iowa, and Curtis Willis and his wife, Patty of Idaho; grandchildren, Chanda Szczeblowski of Illinois, Jaik Willis of Illinois, Ryan Willis of Colorado, Jessica Furniss of Nebraska, Cala White of Taiwan, Laura Heimann of Nebraska, and Noah Willis of Idaho; great-grandchildren, Naomi & Violet Szczeblowski, Alex Willis, Atreyu Riddle, and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond Willis; her siblings, Garald Brown, Byron Brown, Bob Brown, Carole Parker, Winifred Mueller; and her grandson, Aaron. Donnabelle was the last surviving member of her family.

Memorial graveside services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, April 21, 2018, at Oakwood Cemetery in Lewis, Iowa, with Pastor Jerry Neal of the Lewis United Congregational Methodist Church officiating.

Roland Funeral Service is assisting the family with local arrangements. Condolences may be left at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donnabelle Willis, please visit our flower store.

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Service Information

Oakwood Cemetery

, Lewis, IA 51544

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