Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. in McCracken-Dean Funeral
Home with Elks Rites at 7 p.m.
10:30 a.m. Saturday, at McCracken-Dean Funeral Home
Funeral home: McCracken-Dean Funeral Home,
James L. Willson, 77, of Lincoln formerly of Pana
died Monday, November 24, 2014 in Abraham Lincoln
Memorial Hospital, Lincoln, IL.
He was born September 30, 1937 in Moweaqua, IL, the
son of Wilbur C. and Grace I. (Fry) Willson. He was
a graduate of Pana High School Class of 1956 and was
a member of their only untied/undefeated football
team in 1955. Jim served in the U. S. Army from
January 1957 to 1960, spending 26 months in Japan.
He was the owner-manager of New Green Soil Service
which he opened in the 1960’s. The business was sold
in 1989. He went to Harbrand, Inc. in Clinton as a
supervisor over several facilities, retiring in
2002. He was a member of Masonic Lodge #226, Pana;
Elks Lodge #914 in Lincoln where he served on the
Board of Directors; and served on the Board of
Directors for Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical
Assoc., Inc. from 1983 – 1985. He was a former
member of Pana Country Club where he also served on
the Board of Directors. Jim enjoyed golf, fishing,
going fishing in Canada, hunting especially rabbits,
woodworking and loved his golden retrievers. He
especially loved his family and grandchildren.
James L. Willson and Norita J. Dickey were united in
marriage on June 10, 1962 in the First Methodist
Church in Pana.
He is survived by his wife Norita J. Willson,
Lincoln; sons: Michael G. Willson and wife Michele,
Williamsville and Philip R. Willson and wife Beth,
Mason City; four grandchildren: Emelee and Ryan,
Logan and Brooke; sisters: Mary Vemmer and husband
Leon, Decatur; Nell R. Castle and husband Herbert,
Pana; and by his brother Roy “Ike” Willson and wife
He was preceded in death by his parents and by his
brother W. Arch Willson on December 27, 2009.
Memorials may be made to Pana Community Hospital
Foundation or Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital.
Visitation will be Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. in McCracken-Dean
Funeral Home with Elks Rites at 7 p.m.
Funeral services will be Saturday, November 29, 2014 in
McCracken-Dean Funeral Home at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Steven
Palmer and Rev. Marge Overlot officiating. Burial will be in
Linwood Cemetery, Pana with graveside military rites by Pana
Veterans Honor Guard.
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