Margaret Ann Willis, age 98, passed away peacefully on October 6, 2023, surrounded by her family in Cocoa Beach, FL. She was born September 26, 1925, in Kimberly, Wisconsin to Andrew and Gertrude (Busch) DeLeeuw. Margaret grew up with her siblings in Kimberly where she learned from her mother many skills, including sewing, cooking, taking care of her younger siblings, and even plucking chickens. It was common for all the children to help their parents with the everyday chores.
Margaret graduated from Kimberly High School. She knew Bob (our Dad) from kindergarten, dated him in high school, and after he returned from a two year deployment in WWII, Margaret married Bob on September 28, 1946. Together they shared 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls. The family moved to sunny Florida in 1964 where her husband Bob started his career with the Minnesota Twins Baseball Club in Orlando. Over the years, Margaret and her children all worked at the ballpark in some capacity. And, although Margaret spent many days at the ballpark, she always felt her primary role was a mother and homemaker. She drove her children to school and attended almost every sporting activity and social event each of them was involved in. She enjoyed babysitting her grandchildren, sewing, gardening, baking (especially Christmas cookies), crossword and jigsaw puzzles, traveling with family for baseball conventions, and cruising with her daughters, amongst many other road-trips. She spent many of her summers back in Wisconsin with her family once her children were grownup. Margaret’s spirit and family traditions will live on through her children and the countless lives she has touched over her 98 years.
Margaret is survived by her children; Nancy (Jamille) Haddad, Bobby (Caroline) Willis, Jimmy (Mary Jo) Willis, Shari (Mike) Green; grandchildren, Jami (Matt) Michaud, Haley Trechler, Parker (Avian) Willis, Savanna (Rob) Wilkins, Nigel Haddad, Kaley (Mike) Dillon; Michael (Jackie) Green; great grandchildren, Kenley, Camden, Mason, Landon, Addison, Hudson, Charlie, Olivia, Marlo, Ocean, and Banks. She is further survived by her sister Pat Vandehey, many nieces, nephews, cousins and longtime friends. Margaret was preceded in passing by her husband, six brothers, four sisters, and their spouses. The family would like to extend their gratitude to all of the doctors, nurses, and special caregivers at Cape Canaveral Hospital.
A Catholic Mass will be held for Margaret at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Orlando on Tuesday, October 17 at 4 PM. There will be a gathering in the Fairview Room of the Clubhouse at the nearby Dubsdread Country Club immediately following the service. Graveside services will be held earlier in the day by immediate family at Highland Memory Gardens in Apopka.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Angelman.org (www.Angelman.org) in honor of her beloved great-grandson Hudson Trechler. There will be an additional Celebration of Life for Margaret from 1 to 4 pm on Saturday, October 21, at the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront in Cocoa Beach.