James Dale Willison died on November 12,2020 at the age of 101. He was born on Dec. 27, 1918 in Pocatello, Idaho but his family moved to Ponca City one year later. Jimmie, as he was known to everyone, with his mother, Neletah Myers and his father, Leo Willison and his siblings, Margaret, Leon and Robert (Bobby) all were lifelong residents of Ponca City.
Jimmie graduated from Ponca City High School in 1937, then served in the US Air Force from 1941 to 1944, stationed in Phoenix, AZ. While in the service, he returned to Ponca City to marry Elsie Simmons in 1942. After leaving the Air Force he and Elsie moved to Stillwater, where he received a BS degree from Oklahoma A&M in 1949.
After graduation he worked for a short time for Wentz Oil Company. In 1950 he moved to Continental Oil Company, where he worked until retiring in 1981. He worked in the Refining and Accounting departments at CONOCO.
Jimmie and Elsie had two sons, James Kencil (1946-1976) and Neal Allen who was born in 1948. They enjoyed annual fishing trips to Roaring River, MO. As the family grew, with Kencil's wife Lynn and two sons, Jimmie and Charles then their children as well, Jimmie (now called "Gramps") enjoyed teaching everyone to fish.
The Willison families filled the west pews of the First Christian Church of Ponca City. Jimmie and Elsie were longtime members of the Friendly Class. Jimmie was the Boy Scout Master of Troop 1 and a member of the DAV, American Legion, and the Masonic Lodge. He and Elsie were on the board of Longwood Cemetery Association, where Jim served as President for several terms. Elsie passed away in 1992. He and Elsie worked on crochet projects together, gifting their afghans, towels and hats; a passion he continued to enjoy, and whom many will remember. In his later years, he shared many meals and hours with friends at the McCord Senior Center. Jimmie moved to Oklahoma City to live with Neal in 2014.
He is survived by son Neal; grandsons Jimmie (Sonya), Charles (Kelci); greatgrandchildren Makenzie (Matt), Madelyn, Carlie, Allie, Kaylee, Connor, James & Josh, Carson.
Grace Memorial Chapel will be responsible for the services, which will be held at Longwood Cemetery Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. and the Celebration of life service will be in the Longwood cemetery Pavilion at 2:00 p.m. with Pastor Tom Howard officiating. Family has asked those in attendance were a face mask. Arrangements are in care of Grace Memorial Chapel of Ponca City.
The family would like to acknowledge the Veterans Affairs for their support and care for Dad. To Sandra (Sandy) Sue Rendel from First Light Home Care for spending Wednesday afternoons with Dad. To my cousin Becky Willison Abel helping Dad when he was in Ponca City and continuing to check on him with many phone calls once he moved to Oklahoma City.
Online guest registry is available at www.gracememorialchapel.net