Cover photo for Dorothy Willis's Obituary
Dorothy Willis Profile Photo
1934 Dorothy 2017

Dorothy Willis

May 10, 1934 — March 10, 2017

Dorothy M. Willis, 82, of Westerville, Ohio, died March 10, 2017, at Mount Carmel St. Ann's in Westerville. She was born in Cadiz, Ohio, on May 10, 1934, the third of seven children of Sylvia and Emerson Mizer. She grew up in the rolling hills of Eastern Ohio on a large dairy farm, riding horses, excelling in 4-H and developing a lifelong love of nature and the outdoors. Dorothy graduated from Cadiz High School in 1952 and attended The Ohio State University. She raised three children with her then husband, James L. Willis, also of Cadiz. She had a career in retail, working nearly three decades at the downtown Lazarus department store in Columbus. Her position as manager and buyer for the Liberty of London specialty shop took her on regular trips to Manhattan. She was inquisitive by nature, had a passion for knowledge, art and travel, and took classes through the Lifelong Learning Institute into her eighties. Dorothy was a member of the Columbus Museum of Art and Worthington Presbyterian Church and frequently volunteered at Inniswood Metro Gardens. She practiced yoga, was an avid hiker and still swam at the Westerville Community Center until shortly before she died. She is survived by sons Scott Willis (Patricia) of San Jose, California, and Dan Willis of Hudson; daughter Julie Willis of Upper Arlington; brothers David Mizer (Anna Lee), Tom Mizer and George Mizer (Kathryn), all of Cadiz; sisters Lois Henderson (George) of Wildwood, Missouri, and Sara Griffith (Jim Wise) of Indio, California; and grandsons Andrew, Daniel and Sam. She was preceded in death by her sister Nancy Jonard. The family plans a memorial service Saturday, April 1, at 11am at the Presbyterian Church of Cadiz. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Puskarich Public Library, 200 E. Market St., Cadiz, OH 43907. Online condolences may be made at


Saturday, April 1, 2017 11:00 AM
Presbyterian Church of Cadiz
154 West Market Street Cadiz 43907, United States
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