Willard_Joe Frank

Joe Frank Willard

October 7, 1936 - September 3, 2020

Joe Frank Willard, 83, of Plainview, Tx and Bokchito, Okla went home to be with his Heavenly Father, on the 3rd of September, 2020, at the age of 83.

Joe Frank was born southeast of Celina in what was then the Twin Bridges community on October 7, 1936, the 2nd of 3 children of R.L. and Joe Faye Kirkland Willard.  He grew up at Alla Hubbard community, this is where he met, fell in love with, and eventually married his neighbor across the pasture, Janice Lee Merritt. He graduated Valedictorian of the class of 1955 and also attended Austin College and lacked only 7 hours completing his degree but left to work to provide for his family. He farmed in the Celina area and was an Implement trader.

In the mid ‘80’s Joe Frank and Janice left Celina to start a new chapter in their lives in Plainview, Tx.  Years later they also purchased a farm in Bokchito, Okla and split their time between Bokchito and Plainview. They spent many happy years part-time at the farm with family and friends especially on Holidays and family reunions.  Joe Frank and Janice attended the 82nd and V. Street Church of Christ in Lubbock. 

Joe Frank is survived by his wife Janice, daughter Linda Jones and husband Kenneth of Greenville, son Jim Bob Willard and wife Denise of Gunter, daughter Ginger Lanham and husband Jack of Collinsville, son Keith Willard and wife Mary of Celina and son Kemp Willard of Pottsboro.  He is also survived by 6 grandchildren: Weston Willard and wife Rebecca, Dillon Willard, Luke Willard and wife Lilly, Justin Lanham and wife Jordan, Jarod Lanham and wife Morgan, Garth Willard and wife Kalynn, and 7 great-grandchildren. 

Joe Frank was preceded in death by his parents R.L. & Joe Faye Willard, sister Judy Willard, brother Jerry Bob Willard, children Baby Boy Willard and Joe Frank Willard Jr., grandson, Zachery Willard and great-granddaughter Remington Lanham.

Due to COVID-19, the family has chosen to have a private graveside burial.  He will be buried next to his son, Joe Frank Willard Jr. at Old Celina Cemetery, Celina, Tx.  


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Hi Janice, I was so very sorry to hear of Joe Frank's passing. My prayers and thoughts are going to be with you and the family. Maybe we will see each other at the school reunions. Georgia Peterman Richardson grich38@verizon.net, September 9, 2020 Joe was a wonderful man with a wonderful heart that he bestowed on all who had the opportunity to know and interact with him. We thought the world of Joe and still share those feelings we have with his family as our prayers and thoughts are with them . The McNabb Family
Thomas McNabb, September 8, 2020 So sorry for your loss. Joe Frank was one of the best. Knew him all my life. Thinking of all of you. Ray Webster Ray Webster, September 7, 2020 We are saddened by the passing of Joe. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this sad time. David and Gail Catching David Catching, September 7, 2020 So sorry to hear of Joe Frank's passing. Prayers out to all of the Willard family. Brian & Candy Martin, September 7, 2020 Such a great and kind man. Joe’s legacy lives on through his children which we feel blessed to know each of them. God bless and you’re in our prayers. Keith & Cindy Scott , September 6, 2020 Very sad to hear of Joe Frank’s passing. Prayers and Blessings for the family. Tim and Doris Berry
Tim and Doris Berry, September 5, 2020 Joe Frank was a man’s man! He was a long time friend. We graduated from Alla Hubbard School together in 1955. He was one of only a handful of people that called me junior. Joe Frank, as we all called him, was good in sports and academics. In football, I dreaded being on the opposite side trying to tackle him. Yes we played cow pasture tackle football. In 1979 during my first round of cancer, I received a large generous check from him in case we needed help paying medical bills. He never wanted recognition from such thoughtfulness. When I read of his passing, I wept for sadness but quickly had joy knowing that in one of our phone conversations he assured me that he knew Jesus as his savior. Janice and Joe Frank are two very dear people that I have known all my life. With great love to a good friend and praying for Janice and her family. Johnny May, Jr. Pastor Jack May, Ph.D. Dr. Johnny May Jr, September 5, 2020 One of a kind man. Generous to a fault to those in need and never advertised his generosity. He loved his family to a fault and had deep feeling for everyone he was close to. He will be missed. Carol Merritt Pennington, September 5, 2020 Oh our dear Janice. Had been thinking how he needed a chocolate pie. We thought so very highly of Joe. Can’t believe he is gone. Please let us help in any way. I will keep in touch. Love you so very much. You are in our prayers Lois and Billy Scott, September 5, 2020 We are so sorry to hear about your loss. We are thinking of you and pray for the Lord to bless each of you. Amy Smith & Family Amy Smith, September 5, 2020 My heart is sad. Joe Frank was a friend to everyone. Sending prayers and hugs to his family.
Maurine Biggerstaff , September 5, 2020 I am so sorry to hear Joe Frank had passed but he is in Heaven now and has no pain. He was loved by all the Family Sue Smith, September 5, 2020 I am sure Jesus said "well done my faithful servant". Joe Frank will be forever missed by many of us who loved him. I have a lot of fond memories of the Willard family. Praying for each one of you. May God's grace and mercy comfort you in the days ahead. JoAlice Merrit-McCue, September 4, 2020 Praying for you during your time of loss. Hugs to all. Amy Vest Teague, September 4, 2020 So sorry to hear of Joe Frank’s passing. Another “good guy” from Celina’s past will be missed and remembered by many. Lynda Vest Humbarger, September 4, 2020 Janice, Linda, Jim Bob, Ginger, Keith and Kemp, With much sadness we say goodbye to Joe, but know with joy that he was and is in Christ, being comforted, knowing no more pain. Love to each of you, Jerry Jerry Carolyn Coulter, September 4, 2020 I am deeply saddened to hear of Joe Frank’s passing. May each of you keep loving memories close to mind during these hard days ahead. Love and comfort sent to each of you. ts Terry Coulter Stanton, September 4, 2020 Sending hugs and prayers to the family! Janice Hallmark, September 4, 2020