American Veteran 01

Roger Earl Wills

October 14, 1932 ~ November 10, 2020 (age 88)

Tribute

 

Roger Wills, 88, passed peacefully into Heaven on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Roger was born to Alfred and Mabel Wills in Lansing Michigan, where he grew up. He was the youngest out of four siblings. He had fond memories of his time on the farm, and his love of growing plants, fruits and vegetables stayed with him throughout his life.

He attended Michigan State University, where he worked in their agriculture department and broke records on the swim team. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserves in 1950 where he served until 1952, when he enlisted in the newly formed Air Force. He met his future wife, Marcia, on a blind date and they married in 1954. He got out of the military in 1956, and he and Marcia moved to Phoenix to be closer to her family. He became a member of the Phoenix police department, but realized shortly after that his real calling was in the military. He re-enlisted later that year. Roger’s career exploded after his EOD training was completed in 1960. Over the course of his career, he served in Okinawa, Japan, Greenland, California, New York, Arizona, Philippines, Vietnam, and Florida. Roger served his country for 32 years. He retired as a Chief Master Sergeant and was well regarded throughout the EOD community. He earned a bronze star and a purple heart for his gallant effort in Vietnam.

Following his military service, he enjoyed traveling the county with his wife. They traveled extensively cross-country in their RV. Marcia passed in 2008, and shortly after, Roger moved to Florida to be closer to family. He became an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church and was the President of the EOD Masterblasters from 2010-2013. He volunteered at the soup kitchen and in the church office. He enjoyed playing cards with his friends and attending weekly breakfasts. He loved to travel, making sure he attended reunion gatherings in Idaho, Las Vegas, and Italy. Roger was a wine connoisseur, favoring Chiantis from Italy. His book collection was extensive, and his knowledge base was vast. Roger was selfless, kind, and exceedingly generous. He supported various charity organizations throughout the country. His wife Marcia, his siblings, and son Mark precede him in death. His daughter Terri, son-in-law Jerry, daughter-in-law Mary, several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews survive him.  Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., with funeral services following at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, December 5, 2020 in the sanctuary at Trinity United Methodist Church. A virtual option will be provided by watching Trinity UMC Fort Walton Beach, FL on Facebook Live.

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Services

Visitation
Saturday
December 5, 2020

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Emerald Coast Funeral Home
161 Racetrack Road North West
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
Guaranteed delivery before the Visitation begins

Celebration of Life
Saturday
December 5, 2020

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Guaranteed delivery before the Celebration of Life begins