Susan Maureen Willis

March 1, 1954 - July 19, 2008
Susan Maureen Willis

Memorial Gifts & Donations

Ms. Susan Maureen Willis of Wilmington NC (formerly of Reading PA) left this earth on July 19, 2008 after a nine month battle with pancreatic cancer. Born on March 1, 1954 in Scranton PA she was the daughter of Margaret Tillman Willis of Alexandria VA and the late Dr. Bernard J. Willis of Carbondale PA who preceded his daughter in death by just three months.

Susan graduated from Waymart High School in PA and attended East Stroudsburg College. She was trained as a professional gardener at the prestigious Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square PA. She especially loved to work in trees and considered herself an arborist and tree surgeon.

She had a lifelong love of horses and enjoyed spending time on her grandparents’ ranch in TX while growing up. She even got to have her own horse in PA named “Pancho”.

She was the third of five children. Her siblings are: Margaret Willis Tusko of Portland OR, Carolyn Willis Zechman and husband Jack Zechman of Herndon VA, Christopher Tillman Willis and wife Jennifer Thurber Willis of Cincinnati OH and Ellen Willis Mote and husband John Mote of Wilmington NC.

She leaves behind several nieces and nephews. They are Christina Zechman Brown, Emily Zechman, Aaron and David Tusko, Evan and Katey Mote and Eric and Dan Willis.

She looked forward to being reunited with dear departed friends and relatives especially her grandparents Alvin Young Tillman and Margaret Latimer Clark Tillman and her childhood friend Frank Pierson.

Memorial service will be announced at a later date. Online condolences may be sent to

Memorial contributions can be made to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice and LifeCareCenter, The Arbor Day Foundation, or NAMI The National Alliance on Mental Illness or a charity of your choice.

“The day we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity”. Seneca

Wilmington Burial and Cremation Service, 1535 S 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099

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  • July 21, 2008
    Janet Keen says:
    Reading Superman comics until the wee hours of the morning, playing cowboys and indians (we didn't know it was politically incorrect until much, much later), swimming at Keen Lake--the Pierson's, the Kennedy's, the Keen's, the Willis's--what a motley crew we were. I'm glad my childhood tumbled into yours. Give Frankie my love and know you will be missed. Godspeed, friend. Love, Janet

  • July 21, 2008
    Gail Barna says:
    Susan, my mom passed away on July 2. You'll be in good company. Give her a big hug!

  • July 22, 2008
    Suzanne Harper says:
    Hello, Willises, I was so sorry to read about Susan in our local paper. I remember her fondly as I do all of you from my many visits to Waymart. Please accept my sincere condolences. Fondly, Suzanne Harper P.S. Karen sends her sympathy as well.

  • August 13, 2008
    Rorie Lee says:
    I was so sorry to hear of Susan's death. We lost touch before I moved to Maine nearly 6 years ago, but I always imagined whe was continuing to tend trees and lsiten to music. I remember Susan fondly as a friend and part of growing up in Waymart. My condolences and love to Bitsy, Peggy, Caroline, Christopher & Ellen.