Floyd Hunter Willis (March 20, 1897- March 11,1968) and wife, Inez (October 7,1897-June 7,1970) owned and operated the Willis General Store for over 25 years in Willisville, the community named in their honor. In addition to the store, Floyd worked as a farmer and coal-miner. Floyd was the youngest of nine children born to Beverly and Belle Willis. His grandparents were Jasper and (Sarah) Ellen Willis, Floyd married (Goldie) Inez Parker on November 5, 1914 at the home of Rev. A A Cohn. She was five feet tall with light brown hair and blue eyes. Inez's parents were Harry and Grace (Gilliland) Parker. Her paternal grandparents were William and Mary Parker and her maternal grandparents were John and Melissa (Basinger) Gilliland, who helped care for Inez after the death of her mother. Seven children were born to the Willis's as follows: Imel Harry, married to Rachel Morris; Mary Isabell (called Marybelle) married to Gerald Gray; Wesley Basinger, married to Mary Lou Evans; Beverly James, married to Berline Barefoot; Lelah Grace, married to Wayne Pancake; Morris Eugene, married to Mary Faye "Joey" Wise; Rev. Orace Wayne, married to Norma Jean Decker. Mr and Mrs Willis were blessed with 53 years of married life. They beleived in hard work, not only of necessity, but they felt that everyone should learn to work. Of his father, Imel has said, "Pop made working kind of fun, because he'd plan with you. He didn't give you an ultimatum to go out and do such a thing. He would go out with you to do the job, talk with you and ask you what you thought ought to be done. If it came a big rain, and we had to stop work, his mind was always working on what we could do- not only to make a living, but to have fun and sometimes combine the two. He showed us he appreciated the work we did". Floyd had a very fun-loving nature and is remembered for his pranks, as well as for the many enjoyable Sunday afternoons of food, fellowship and music in the Willis home. Floyd played music and encouraged his three older children to play stringed instruments. Mrs Willis is remembered for her relentles energy and generous nature. At different times, she provided a home for several homeless people. Also, in the store business, many times a family would charge items of necessity, for which no collection would be expected. Floyd loved hunting and enjoyed teaching his sons and grandsons to hunt. Mr Willis put a value on being honest and taught his children this by example. Of this quality, his son, Morris said, "never did I know of him to misrepresent a thing. He was honest in everything and expected everyone else to be the same."
The legacy of the Willis name is one which implies adventure and exploration, courage and determination. his spirit brought our forefathers across the great Atlantic waters, through North Carolina, and into what is now Indiana. Similarly, in modern day expansion, the father of Floyd I Willis (imel H Willis) brought his family further west ("66) to California. Floyd I Willis (11-12-59) youngest grandson of Floyd H Willis, is a product of Pike Co. and spent his early childhood in Willisville. Floyd now lives in the desert southwest in a small town names El Centro, located in the Imperial Valley of the Colorado desert of Southern California. Floyd graduated from Chula Vista High School, where he was captain of the JV Swim Team. At Southwestern College, he was elected president of the Student Body. His Bachelors degree was earned at Oral Roberts University, where he graduated cum laud with a major in Social Work. Floyd is currently working as an Administrative Financial Analyst with County government. He has prior work experience as a bookkeeper and as an accounting technician. He was also employed as a Mental Health Worker in a psychiatric hospital working with adolescents. While obtaining some additional credits at Indiana University ('56 /'86) he met Angelita Zarazua. Angie and Floyd were married 11-29-86. Angie is an Indiana girl from northern town of Plymouth. Her parents are Maria and Luis Zarazua. Angie is the eldest of seven daughters. Floyd, whose interests vary widely, has enjoyed pursung avocations outside his formal education. He plays several stringed instruments. His interest in history and languages has enriched his travels to Europe, Canada, Mexico, South America, Hawaii and 42 other states. His adventurous spirit has also found him acting in a TV commercial. Although Floyd was very young when his grandfather Floyd H Willis of the same name died, there are enough recollections from which to draw some comparrisons:
- Floyd H Willis was a musician.
- Floyd I Willis is a musician.
- Floyd H Willis never missed an election.
- Floyd I Willis has never missed an election.
- Floyd H Willis was a hunter.
- Floyd I Willis is a "Fisher of Men."