Willis K. Draper, age 104 of Highland, IL, died Friday, March 01, 2019, at his residence in Highland, IL.
He was born on January 24, 1915, in Warren, OH, the son of Willis H. and Hilda I. (nee Kuhnen) Draper.
On February 18, 1936, he married Bernice A. Jacobs at the First Congregational Church Parsonage in Highland,IL. She passed away on September 24, 2002.
He was a member of First Congregational Church of Highland. He was also a member of Highland Masonic Lodge #583, AF & AM – Highland, IL (oldest living member); Highland Chamber of Commerce – President 1955-1956; Highland Rotary Club – President 1959 – 1960; Lee Iten American Legion Post #439 Highland, IL a 73 year member.
Willis was born at Warren, Ohio. He and his family moved to Highland, IL in 1921 and he graduated from Highland High School in 1932. He attended Washington University for 1 year. For 9 years he worked as a Carpenter. During World War II he served aboard a Destroyer Escort as a Sonorman. He received a Bronze Star for his 13 months of duty in the Atlantic. He continued to work as a Carpenter after the war and also worked with his father-in-law in Kuhnen Hardware and Seed Company. He assumed ownership in 1952. The store became a True Value affiliate and WIllis and his wife continued to operate it until retiring in 1978.An accomplished musician, he had played with the Highland Concert Band and with the Boots Wilhauk Orchestra for many years. He played the organ for enjoyment until his 95th year.
Survivors include :
Daughter-In-law – Janice K. Draper, nee Wiess, Saint Peters, MO
Grandson-In-Law – Steven E. Klingbeil, Highland, IL
Great Grandchild – Steven C. Klingbeil, Saint Louis, MO
Sister – Dorothy Ellen Gunther, Clearwater, FL
He was preceded in death by :
Father – Willis H. Draper – Died 04/27/1977
Mother – Hilda I. Draper, nee Kuhnen – Died 03/03/1985
Step Mother – Eugenia M. Draper Summers, nee Bock – Died 07/24/2000
Wife – Bernice Anna Draper, nee Jacobs – Died 09/24/2002
Son – Alan C. Draper – Died 06/12/2011
Granddaughter – Kris Ann Klingbeil, nee Draper – Died 04/06/2016
Arrangements are being handled by Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland, IL.
Memorial services will be at 11:00 AM on Saturday, April 06, 2019, at First Congregational Church of Highland in Highland, IL with Pastor Jay L. Warren officiating.
Interment will be at Highland City Cemetery in Highland, IL .
Memorial contributions may be made to First Congrational Church, Highland Home or Highland Masonic Lodge #583 AF & AM.