Obituary: Mark T. Willis, 75, of Ludington

April 10, 2024

Mark Willis

Mark T. Willis, 75, of Ludington and Anna Maria Island, Florida, (formerly of Naperville, Illinois) passed away on Saturday, April 6, 2024. He was born on September 11, 1948, in Des Moines, Iowa, the son of Jack B. and Helen (Hull) Willis.

Mark was a distinguished individual who excelled in various aspects of his life. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1967 and went on to earn a bachelor of science degree from Iowa Wesleyan University.

On July 5, 1975, Mark married the love of his life, Sandy (Danca) Willis. Mark had a successful career spanning different fields. He played in the Canadian Football League and briefly for the Chicago Bears. Additionally, he dedicated 38 years of his life to AIG American International Group, where he was named chairman. Mark served on many boards and was named the industry’s “Man of the Year” in 2018; a scholarship was established at Illinois State University in his name, “The Mark Willis Leadership Scholarship” for business majors. In 2018, he was inducted into the “IWU Athletic Hall of Fame.” A new Willis Wrestling and Football Athletic Center was built in his honor.

Outside of his professional life, Mark found joy in various hobbies. He cherished spending time with his family, indulging in hunting, fishing, golf, skiing, weightlifting, and woodworking. His passion for philanthropic projects was evident across the country and in his community. At the age of 14, Mark became an Eagle Scout and would lead all his sons to Eagle Rank. He served for many years on the Board of Boys Scouts of America. His pet charity through AIG was hosting the Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Ski Challenge each year in Stowe, Vermont. Proceeds from this event would continue supporting wounded warriors throughout their life and Mark found great solace knowing the impact this had on our veterans.

Mark was active at Mason County Reformed Church. He will be remembered for his dedication to his work, his love for his family, and his generosity towards others. Mark leaves behind a legacy of hard work, kindness, and a passion for life that will be cherished by all who knew him.

Mark is survived by his wife, Sandy (Danca) Willis; sons, Mark B. (Jeanne) Willis and Scott (Catherine) Willis; daughter, Heather (Jordan) Blanche; grandchildren, Reese, Brooke, Jack, Wyatt, and Emmaline; sisters, Terry Sambor, Becky (Dr. J) Rosenberger, and Tammy (Curt) Getting; and brothers, Col. Colen (Carla) Willis and Scott (Lauralee) Willis.

Mark was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Helen Willis.

A funeral Service will be on Friday, April 12, at 11:30 a.m. at Mason County Reformed Church in Scottville. Visitation will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers please consider donating to a charity close to your heart in Mark’s honor.

Arrangements were entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington,

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