August 03, 2022

Cdr. Clifton Fayne Willis, age 82, of Knoxville and formerly of Kingsport, Tenn., passed away Tuesday, July 26, 2022. He proudly served in the United States Navy from 1965-1986, that included two tours of Vietnam. He received numerous medals and ribbons, including the Bronze Star with Valor. After his retirement, he taught JROTC at Central and Bearden High Schools where he influenced many young lives. He remained active in many veteran organizations in the Knoxville area, including his tireless dedication to Wreaths Across America.

As the patriarch of our family, he always showed unconditional love and support to his wife, children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces and nephews. He was an honorable, dedicated and faithful man who was deeply loved and admired by his family, friends, and veteran community.

He was preceded in death by parents, Beatrice and Hanford Willis; son, Clif Willis and brother, Barry Willis.

Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Patricia Willis, of Knoxville, Tenn.; daughter, Tracy Willis of Knoxville, Tenn.; grandchildren, Caitlin Mull of Knoxville, Tenn., Ashlin Mull of Nashville, Tenn., and Hayden Cook of Knoxville, Tenn.; sister, Rita Willis Thomas of Louisville, Ky.; brother, Bill (Sarah) Willis of Morristown, Tenn.; sisters-in-law, Linda (Dick) Davis of Naperville, Ill., Susan (Joe) Preston, Knoxville, Tenn., Amy (Van) Caldwell of Knoxville, Tenn.; several nieces and nephews; and dear friend, Tom Underwood.

Family received friends 5-6:30 p.m. Monday, August 1, at Click Funeral Home Farragut Chapel with a service that followed at 6:30 p.m. Graveside service was held at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery with full military honors conferred by the US Navy and the East Tennessee State Veterans Honor Guard. Honorary pallbearers were the Captain Bill Robinson Chapter 1078 of Vietnam Veterans of America and the Friday “Elbow Gang”.

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials to Wreaths Across America, PO Box 50054 Knoxville, TN, 37950-0054.

Click Funeral Home, Farragut, Tenn. is in charge of arrangements.