Chesterton Tribune

Thomas E. Willis dies at 67

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Thomas E. Willis, of Chesterton, passed away December 18, 2008 at Porter Valparaiso Hospital Campus, Valparaiso. He was 67.

He was born October 2, 1941 in Chicago, the son of Wilcie and Emma (Scharf) Willis, both of whom preceded him in death.

On September 17, 1988 in Chesterton, he married Dianne (Zieman) Bernth.

He is survived by his wife of 20 years Dianne Willis; three sons, Thomas (Sheryl) Bernth of Bolingbrook, Ill., James (Carolyn) Bernth of Union Mills, and Scott (Heather) Bernth of Westville; 13 grandchildren, Christian and Kaitlyn Bernth of Bolingbrook, Donja and Shaina Johnson of Valparaiso, Jaimie, Grace, Moriah, Caleb and Joshalyn Bernth of Union Mills and Megan, Nicole, Nolan and George Thomas Bernth of Westville; three sisters, Patricia (James) Hayes, Sharon (Thomas) Wichert and Gloria (Leo) Murphy; sisters-in-law, Mildred Willis and Gladys Knop; many nieces, nephews, friends an neighbors.

He was also preceded in death by his first wife, Ann T. Willis; grandchildren, Jonathan and Bethany Bernth; three brothers, Robert, Richard and Donald Willis and brothers-in-law, Norman Knop James Hayes and Thomas Wichert.

Tom was a veteran of the US Army stationed in Germany 1964-1966. He lived in the Chesterton area since 1993 coming from Overland Park, Kan. Tom retired in 1997 from sales management for Navistar International Truck & Engine Corporation after more than 37 years of service. He was a very active member of St. Paul Lutheran Church where he served as an elder and a member of the fellowship board. He loved traveling with special friends and spent a lot of time manicuring his lawn.

Funeral services, the Rev. Erich Fickel officiating, will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 22 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 106 E. 1100N, with visitation one hour before. Interment will follow at Chesterton Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 2-8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21 at White-Love Funeral Home, 525 S. 2nd St., Chesterton. Memorials may be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church Sacristy Fund. 


Posted 12/19/2008