David Hall Willis of Manchester-by-the-Sea, entered into rest on Monday, July 26 at the age of 80. Beloved husband of Susan Alexander Willis. Loving brother of Dudley H. Willis (Sally), John C. Willis, Jr. and the late D-D Harris. Cherished brother-in-law of Richard Alexander (Ellen), Leslie Levy (Robert) and the late Robert Alexander (Beth Stevenson). Treasured uncle of many nieces and nephews.
Dave grew up in Winchester MA, becoming an Eagle Scout, and after graduating from New Prep went on to graduate from Norwich University. He spent a year working a forklift in a German electrical parts company on a promise to his college German professor that he would improve his German. He completed US Army Armor School as a 2nd Lieutenant Tank Commander. In 1966, during the Vietnam War, Dave served as Deputy Post Commander at Camp Kaiser, along the Korean DMZ.
Dave and a partner opened the first Dunkin Donuts in Gloucester. Using that success, they became owners and operators of Lawyers Stationery Co. in downtown Boston for 45 years. Dave also owned George D. Hall Co, a directory publishing company, and David H Willis Leasing Co. at Beverly Airport, where he leased back small aircraft to support his true joy. After seeing the movie Top Gun, Dave decided to purchase a Fouga Magister jet fighter, which he mastered to the point of performing in Air Shows at Hanscom AF Base and beyond. Dave maintained a physical fitness that allowed him to play hockey in the NSSA well into his senior years. He was a friend of Bill W.
Ever eager to learn – of history and music and ships, ever eager to live fully – in work, travel, leisure time, ever building new creations – with indoor and outdoor trains, ships and gardens, ever eager to love fully – all of the creatures of this earth he cherished.
A graveside service for Dave was held privately. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dave’s memory to Care Dimensions, 75 Sylvan St., Ste B102, Danvers, MA 01923 or the Angell Memorial Hospital, 350 South Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02130.