Emery V. Wills, 90

O emery willsRAYMOND & SARASOTA, FLA. — Emery V. Wills, 90, who died on Jan. 22, 2014, loved Maine, his faith, family, community and Florida.

Emery was born in Mercer on Nov. 15, 1923, a son of Leslie and Ina (Soule) Wills. His life spanned such diversities from working his father’s farm to business travel on Kimberly Clark corporate jets.

After graduating from high school in Norridgewock, Emery went on to proudly serve his country in WWII in 1944 in the U.S. Army Air Force. While serving, Emery was stationed in France and Germany.

After fulfilling his military obligations, he went on to work for S.D. Warren for 42 years, starting as a worker in the pulp mill, to operating paper machines, and eventually being promoted to management. Emery served as a division manager of S.D. Warren Paper Machines, a job that required him to travel to such places as Muskegon, Mich., and Allentown, Pa., to improve paper machinery and paper quality.

In 1970, Emery started Wills and Sons Inc. in Buxton, a family business involving the sale and repair of lawnmowers, snowmobiles and the like. Emery was known for his work ethic, and truly enjoyed working with customers and employees, making many friends because of his business.

He was raised as a Congregationalist and was a member and past grand master of Standish Masonic Lodge. In earlier years, he enjoyed farming and tending to his cows, and spending time at his camp with his family at Bonny Eagle Pond, where boating was enjoyed by all.

For the past 25 years, Wills and his second wife, Ida Brown Wills, lived in Raymond, spending winters at their second home in Sarasota. When he married Ida, he accepted the Roman Catholic faith and joined Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Windham.

Emery had a passion for his vegetable gardens, heirloom roses and park-like grounds in Raymond. This included a six-acre lawn, which he proudly maintained through 2013, and cutting trees from the property for heating in the winter. He always had the best tools and the right equipment for every job. He patiently taught many how to operate them and made life a better place for those around him.

He still had control of the remote control in the house. He loved NASCAR races on the weekends and Fox News daily. He was proficient with his finances and investments and had good advice for all that listened.

He was full of life and his mind was clear right to his last breath. This was the first year he allowed someone else to drive them to Florida. He had proudly done the driving himself for over 20 years. He celebrated his 90th birthday in Florida Nov.15, enjoyed daily shuffleboard and matches of pétanque, along with weekly bowling and golf.

Emery was an example of perseverance. He had successful battles with both colon and lung cancer in his early 80s. He had high praise for the doctors and staff at the Maine Medical Center. Everyone was always happy to see Emery.

In mid December, Wills was hospitalized after a regular doctor’s visit because of an irregular heart rate. He was stabilized and later transferred to a rehab center. He was due to return home on Jan. 23 when his health worsened the day before returning home. He passed away in the ambulance taking him back to the hospital.

He is predeceased by his first wife, Corinne (Jordan) Wills, who died in 1987; two sons, Robert Wills, who was killed in Vietnam in 1970, and Jerome Wills, who died in 1986; and siblings Lloyd, Glendon and Elsie.

He is survived by his wife Ida; his children, Elaine Bradbury of Montverde, Fla. and Standish, Marion McAvoy of Waterboro, Peter Wills of Porter, Janice Grant of Buxton and Sherri MacDonald of Buxton; 14 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren; stepchildren Vicki Brown DeSmet of La Verne, Calif., Paul Brown Jr. of Raymond, Julie Watrous of Zionsville, Pa., Jonathan Brown of Bullhead City, Ariz. and Chrystal Libby of Greensboro, N.C.; 10 step-grandchildren and one step-great-grandson.

Emery will truly be missed by family, but also by the many people whose lives he touched. His mind was sharp to the end and now may he rest in peace for eternity. Perseverance, integrity and faithfulness.

The extraordinary life of Emery V. Wills will be celebrated at services planned for May 23 in Buxton. A Roman Catholic funeral service and a Masonic service will be held on Friday, May 23 at 11 a.m. at Dennett, Craig & Pate Funeral Home on Route 202 in Buxton. Burial will follow at Tory Hill Cemetery in South Buxton with military honors.

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