George Franklin Willard, 75, departed this life on September 2nd, 2021, at Medical Center hospital in Odessa, Tx. Named after his father, George was the seventh of eight children born to George Alexander & Jim Nella Willard in Paris, Tx on January 2nd, 1946. When George was a young boy the family moved to Littlefield, Tx where his formal education included Dunbar and Littlefield elementary and secondary schools.
In 1966 he moved to Odessa, Tx and finished his formal education as a member of the last graduating class of Blackshear High School – The Class of ’66. In August of the same year, he enlisted in The United States Army and served his country honorably until 1968 when he was medically discharged. In his short time of service, he achieved Expert Marksman (rifle) status, attained the rank of E-5 (Sergeant) and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal for his service during the Korean DMZ Conflict (Second Korean War).
Upon returning from military service, he eventually made his home in Odessa, and became a member of St. Matthew Baptist Church. In 1971 he married Estella Pauline Sumuel, and to this union two children were born: Keverly D’Shannon & Geremy Frank. George worked for Miether Machine, Grant Supply Co., and Ector County Independent School District throughout the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. He was a long-time member of the Ector Lions Club and VFW Post 6717, serving in various capacities until his passing.
He married Elida Tavarez Brito in 1995 and from this union two children were born: LaToya Collette and Mariah Jeanette. George was an avid Dallas Cowboys fan, an awesome chef and BBQ connoisseur, and he loved watching westerns and tennis. He truly loved his family and enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren- especially his youngest grandson Marcus- who loved to watch the news and the weather channel with his Paw Paw. George and Elida remained devoted and faithful until Elida’s untimely passing in April 2020.
George, affectionately called “Frank” by his family, was always a joy to be around. He was well known and well-liked by friends and strangers alike. Always known as a hard worker, he was always fixing, building, or “engineering” something for his children, friends, and family. For over 25 years he and good friend Jimmy Thompson operated Daytime Bingo at the Ector Lions Club, and his distinctive voice could be heard and recognized at Strike-It-Rich and the VFW bingo halls as well. His infectious laugh and signature greeting of “Hello darling…” will be sorely missed by everyone.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 24 years, Elida Tavarez Willard, his parents, George and Jim Nella Willard, a brother, Charles Robert Willard, a sister, Dora Mae Lee, and his nephew, Christopher Black.
He is survived by his children: Keverly Willard, Geremy Willard (Shimene), LaToya Washington (Dacian), and Mariah Swearington (Jacolby), all of Odessa, Tx; Five Siblings: Cathy Hubert of Odessa, Tx, Bob Willard of Shallowater, Tx., George (Wayne) Willard (Rosie) of Lubbock, Tx., Loretta Cornish of Odessa, Tx., and Minnie Johnson (Tommy) of Littlefield, Tx; Twelve grandchildren: Alexis, Kameron, Morgan, Genesis, Na’Kayla, Gracyn, Jacolby II, Gerrick, King, Marcus, Phoenix, and baby Washington due in February 2022; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends.
Special thanks to the nurses and doctors who cared for Daddy at Midland Memorial Hospital and Medical Center Hospital, as well as everyone who checked in on him and expressed their prayers and concern during his brief illness. Thank you to the Ector Lions Club, VFW Post 6717, Mr. Eddy Spivey, Mr. Tommey Morris, Mr. Marion Davis, and Mr. Melvin Parker.
HONORARY PALL BEARERS:
Donnie Morgan, Robert Willard, Ronnie Willard, Roderick Cornish, Michael Willard, Jesse James Lee, Justin Johnson and Lance Willard