Willis Duane Zillig (Willie) was born in Ainsworth, Nebraska on June 21, 1932 to William (Bill) and Nellie Zillig. He was the oldest of 5 children. He was taken from us on October 18, 2021. We were blessed to have him for 89 years. He was able to live on his own with assistance from friends and family when he could no longer drive.
He went to school in Nebraska and was very active in 4H and FFA and won numerous awards for his various projects. The family moved to Homedale, Idaho when he was in High School and he graduated from Homedale High School in 1951. He was drafted into the Army at 19 and served for 2 years during the Korean war. He became a cook while in the army and spent time on a ship cooking for the army unit on board. His time in the Army was something he was very proud of.
When he came home, he started working at the local supermarket in Homedale and became a meat cutter. He married Phyllis Haken June 13, 1958. They had two daughters, Tammy and Bonnie. The family spent their first years in Homedale, then moved to Parma for a couple of years. In 1963 they moved to Vale and he spent time as a meat cutter in the local supermarket there. When the supermarket sold, he bought the Dairy Queen and operated that for several years.
In 1971, he moved to Burns Oregon and went to work at Safeway Market as the produce manager. He transferred a few years later to Nampa, Idaho. He remained in Nampa until his death.
Willis married Lanona (Nonie) Hopkins in 1983 and they purchased a home across the street from Nonie’s sister Martha. They loved going back and forth between their homes and spent lots of time together. He retired from Safeway and went to work for Bill Downs Auction until he retired for good this time.
He loved to fish, hunt, go camping and playing cards. He became an NNU superfan and loved going to the girls’ volleyball and basketball games. He was devoted to his family and loved spending time with all of them. He loved his book Bible club and all the guys in it, he loved his Friday night card group and all the people who were there every week, and he loved all the food and company they provided.
Willis is survived by his two daughters, Tammy (Harry) Chamberlain and Bonnie (Allen) Green. Grandchildren Crystle (Nate) Carpenter, Greg (Sam) Chamberlain, Stacey Chamberlain, Shane (Amber) Green and Travis Green. Great grandchildren Carson, Emma, Grace, Gavin, Maddox, Abby and Anna. A brother, Fred (Norma) Zillig, sisters Lavada Davis, Marthena Sabin and Ella Mae (LaVern) Jorgenson. He is further survived by Nonie’s children, Norm (Sheila) Porter, Connie Sharp and Cathy Cornelson. Grand children Danielle Crow, Jenelle (Ryan) Richard, Rachelle Campbell, Brylee Porter, Adam (Ortashia) Foxworthy, Maximillian Porter, Andrew (Karin) Porter, Colby(Tammy) Porter and Cody (Chris) Brake. Great Grandchildren Hunter, Skyler, Addison, Jayel, Zuri, Gabriel, Cryson, Liam, Elliott, Jaron, Jalenn, Samuel ,Clara, Jessica, Julia, Tyler, Audrey, Brody, Breonna and husband Alejandro, Brennen, Devon and Donovan and great great granddaughter Nyla, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
He was proceeded in death by his wife, Lanona Zillig, his parents, William and Nellie Zillig, brothers’ in law Tom Davis and Leland Sabin, a sister in law, Dr Martha Hopkins, his step son Randy and his wife Margie, and two nephews, Ed Davis and Henry Sabin.
We would like to thank a very special friend, Mike Robinson, who took him everywhere he needed to go and was with him at the end. You are a very special angel that God sent to him and us.
Dad, we will miss you greatly.
Memorial donations can be made to Idaho Vetrans Assistance League, 320 Collins Rd., Boise, Idaho 83702. Attn: Jo Ann Daron
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