George H. Willis, Ph. D, 77, of Wakefield, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, surrounded by his family. For fifty-two years he was the beloved husband of the Rev. Nancy A. Willis.
Born in Albany, New York, he was a son of the late Harry and Ruth Willis. He graduated from the Albany Academy, received his bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College, a master’s degree from Harvard University, and doctorate in education from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Willis was a Professor of Education at the University of Rhode Island for over 40 years. He authored several books on education, was a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Australia, and in 2012 received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Curriculum Studies from the American Educational Research Association.
He enjoyed playing tennis and listening to swing and big band music.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters: Elizabeth Willis Clancy and her husband Terence of Falls Church, VA, and Kathryn Willis Thomas and her husband Robert of Wakefield; five grandchildren: Colin, Liam, Evangeline, Gabriel, and Michael; two sisters Cynthia Willis of Preston Hollow, NY, and Patricia Willis of Queens, NY, and a brother Peter Willis and his wife Joelle of Schenectady, NY.
A funeral service will be held at St. Augustine’s Church, 35 Lower College Road, Kingston, RI at 2 pm Sunday, January 27th, with a reception to follow at the URI Alumni Center, 73 Upper College Road, Kingston. Visiting hours are at the Avery-Storti Funeral Home, 88 Columbia Street, Wakefield, on Friday, January 25th from 4-6 pm.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the educational institution of your choice. For guest book and condolences, averystortifuneralhome.com.