Howard “Bo” Willis was born on Nov. 26, 1940, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to Hubert Cliff and Ruby Maise Willis. Bo passed away on his 82nd Birthday on Nov. 26, 2022, after his battle with Alzheimer’s. He celebrated his birthday in heaven with his Savior and his loved ones.
Bo was a caring, kind and devoted husband, dad, grandpa and brother. He loved his family dearly and they were all very important to him. As a young boy, he was very protective over all his siblings, especially his brother Don. When Don was in high school he made sure he went to school to ensure that he graduated. Don adored his big brother Bo. As they grew older, Bo and Don would ride to church together every Sunday. They sure could be an ornery pair!
Bo met the love of his life, Peggy Jo Baker, when he was 21 and Peggy was 17. They married and had three children: Sherri, Howard and Deana. In 2017, Peggy was diagnosed with lung cancer and Bo cared for her and never left her side. They shared 56 wonderful years of marriage prior to her death on Dec. 31, 2017. After Peggy passed away, Bo enjoyed sharing the last five years of his life with his love and companion, Judy Smith. His children are so grateful that Judy was so dedicated, loving and caring for their dad as his Alzheimer’s progressed.
Bo enjoyed spending time with his family. He enjoyed his son Howard Jr’s athletics and even coached, enjoyed watching his daughter Sherri’s softball games and teaching his youngest daughter Deana how to barrel race and her Roundup Club activities. Bo always tried to be the dad that he never had growing up and so enjoyed being a grandpa and great grandpa.
He loved raising game cock chickens with his son Howard Jr. and his brother Johnnie. Bo had a love for all sports, but his very favorite was OU Football. He also enjoyed watching rodeos and going to the horse races.
A truck driver for Wonder Bread/Continental Baking Co., he was so dependable and only missed one day of work in the 38 years he worked there. Even in bad weather he would find a way to make it back home to be with his family.
He earned several awards for driving but was most proud of his 3 Million Mile Accident Free Award and when he was inducted into the Truck Driver’s Hall of Fame. The program casts a spotlight on the industry’s top drivers for outstanding records of service and safety. Even as his memory loss progressed, he still remembered to tell everyone about his Million Mile Accident Award and loved to wear his 30 years of service jacket.
After retiring from Wonder Bread on Oct. 5, 2001, he worked part-time driving for IDS until Peggy was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017.
Bo will be remembered as a hardworking, kind family man with a good sense of humor.
He was preceded in death by his dad, Hubert Cliff Willis; mother, Ruby Maise Willis; wife, Peggy Willis; brother, Glen Willis; sister, Helen Stephens; brother, Bud McGee; sister, Angie Goldman; brother, Don Willis; and sister, Sharon McCray.
Bo is survived by his daughter, Sherri Stoneking; son, Howard Willis, Jr. and wife Lisa; daughter, Deana Delk and husband Steve; grandsons, Casey Yokley and wife Jennifer, Adam Yokley and Micah Yokley; granddaughters, Alexyss Smith and Meagan Meeks-Willis; great-granddaughters, Margaret Yokley and Laycee Meeks-Willis; great-grandsons, Joshua Yokley and River Meeks-Willis; bonus granddaughters, Danae Stoneking and Kayla Stoneking; and bonus grandsons, Gavin Rhodes and Zain Winstead, as well as many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Celebration of life services will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Yanda & Son Funeral Home Chapel, Yukon, Oklahoma.
Online condolences may be signed at www.yandafuneral.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Yanda & Son Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Yukon, Oklahoma.