Paul J. Willis (# 34890513)

Place of Birth
Date of Birth

Hope, Arkansas
November 14, 1920
Technical Sergeant

Combat Infantryman's Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Campaign Medal with five bronze service stars, Good Conduct Medal , Victory Medal and the French Legion of Honor medal

Paul James Willis was born November 14, 1920 in Hope, Arkansas to the late Claude Willis and the late Ruth (Clark) Willis and had proudly called Canton his home since 1936. On August 18, 1943, Paul Willis was inducted into the United States Army, serving in Company G, 329th Infantry as a Technical Sergeant during World War II. He landed in Normandy two weeks after D-Day. During his three years of service, he saw action in Normandy, Brittany, Luxembourg, the Hurtgen Forest, the Battle of the Bulge, and the Rhine River. The hedgerows of Normandy were his most horrendous experience. He was wounded in action on January 13, 1945 during the Battle of the Bulge.


After the war, Paul returned to his North Carolina home where he worked at a paper and fiber company. His wife, Evelyn, raised their two sons. Paul retired from Champion International with 45 years of dedicated service.  Mr. Willis was a faithful member of Rockwood Methodist Church where he had taught Sunday School for more than 70 years, continuing to teach his class up until the week before he passed away. He also began writing poetry – first, little jingles for colleagues – and then, more thoughtful, inspiring poems reflecting his experiences and love of history. For the past sixty years, Paul has continued to write about the war, nature, the earth, and hope for the future. He was a member of the American Legion Post # 61 in Canton.

On January 16, 2018 a man who loved his Lord, loved his family and loved his country, Paul James Willis, age 97, entered his eternal heavenly home. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Evelyn Blythe Willis who passed away in 2015.