After a wonderful life of doing things his way, James Eugene “Jim” Willis, Ph.D., 86, passed away on Tuesday, March 14, 2023 in Baton Rouge, LA. He was born July 14, 1936 in Del Norte, Colorado. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dorcas Frances Chamberlain Willis and Col. William Darrel Willis, M.D., his brother William D. Willis, Jr., M.D., and his first wife Marlene Mutz Moore. Jim is survived by his wife of 38 years, Emily C. Stich; his children Elizabeth Ann Willis Barron (James Barron) of Baton Rouge, Julia Kay Willis of San Diego, CA, and James E. Willis, Jr. of Friendswood, TX; grandchildren Marlena Marie Barron of New Orleans and Daniel William Barron of Baton Rouge; sister Mary Willis Clayton of Marietta, GA. He obtained a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Texas A & M University in 1958. In 1965 he earned his Ph.D. in economics from Tulane University. Thereafter, Dr. Willis completed postdoctoral research at the University of Texas before joining the faculty at LSU in 1968 where he taught quantitative business analysis until his retirement in 1996. He was an avid amateur photographer who rarely went anywhere without a camera. He enjoyed preparing slide shows for friends and family to relive past experiences. Despite his photography skills, he had a talent for having his eyes closed in pictures when he was the subject. He was committed to serving his community and was a thoughtful helper to friends and family. He and Emily hosted numerous LSU international students and enjoyed traveling the globe. A simple cup of black coffee was a great joy to him, and he spent many hours at local coffee houses enjoying a good book or conversation. As a true master of Dad jokes, he got a twinkle in his eye when telling puns that were so subtle, they were frequently missed by the target audience. The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff of Our House For Respite for their exceptional care and support. A memorial and celebration of his life will be held at St. Alban’s Episcopal Chapel on the LSU campus on Tuesday, March 21. Visitation at 5:30 p.m.; service at 6:00 p.m., reception to follow. Memorial donations may be made to St. Alban’s Chapel, https://HospiceBR.org/giving or Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area.
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