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1943 Nancy 2024

Nancy L Willis

January 15, 1943 — May 17, 2024


Nancy LaVonne (Cantrell) Willis of Callaway, died on May 17, 2024 at the Callaway District Hospital. She was born on January 15, 1943 to Marion and Lucille (Cool) Cantrell. Nancy was born at her Grandpa Hiram and Grandma Hazel Cool’s home in Callaway.

Nancy started to school at Upper Lodi School, east of Callaway. She attended this country school through the 6th grade and then attended and graduated from the Callaway Public Schools with the Class of 1961.

Following graduation, Nancy began working for Dr. Tom Lucas in Broken Bow. She continued to work in the medical field as she worked for Dr. M.L. Chaloupka and Dr. Ron Sheppard at the Callaway Hospital and Medical Clinic. She was office manager at the Arnold Medical Clinic for 30 years, retiring in 2013.

On October 6, 1962, Nancy married her high school sweetheart and classmate, Harold Junior Willis. They made their home on the ranch near Callaway and farmed and ranched with Junior’s parents. They were blessed with two children Jeffrey Lane and Julie Diane.

Nancy’s love of her Catholic Faith permeated her life. She was a participant and volunteer in the Cursillo Movement as well as Catholics Encounter Christ. She volunteered and held numerous offices in her beloved St. Boniface Parish. Along with her faith, music also permeated Nancy’s life. She believed her talent as a Clavinova and guitar musician, as well as vocalist, were gifts. And these were gifts to be shared. Her beautiful music was a part of numerous weddings, baptisms, funerals, Ordinations, and First Masses. Her talent was well known in the Diocese of Grand Island.

Nancy’s survivors include her son, Jeff, of Callaway; son-in-law, Gene Ross of Fremont; grandchildren, Hunter (Tasha) Willis, Ellana Willis, Jacob Ross, Jackson Ross; Sister-in-law, Karen Cantrell; Brother and Sister-in-Law, Burt and Carol Willis; Brother-in-Law, James Downey; Nephews and Nieces, Chris Cantrell, Michael Downey, Michaela Hunt, Robert Downey, Patty Ann Rivera, John Downey, Elizabeth Minnick and well as a host of friends.

Preceding Nancy in death include her husband, Junior; Daughter, Julie Ross; Parents, Marion and Lucille Cantrell; Brother, Gary Cantrell; Sister, Marilyn Cantrell; Parents-in-law, Tony and Margaret Willis; Sister-in-Law, Joan Downey; Nephew, Patrick Downey.

Mass of Christian Burial will be on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Callaway with Father Mike Pampara, officiating. The Mass will be livestreamed via the Reynolds-Love Funeral Home Facebook page.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 from 5-7 p.m. with a Rosary to follow at 7:00 p.m. at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Callaway.

Interment will be at Rose Hill Cemetery in Callaway.

Memorials are suggested to the Callaway District Hospital or St. Boniface Catholic Church in Callaway.

Timm-Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Callaway is honored to be assisting the family with arrangements. Please share online condolences with the family by visiting:
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Nancy L Willis, please visit our flower store.


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