Cover photo for James (Jim) Robert Willis "Coach"'s Obituary
James (Jim) Robert Willis "Coach" Profile Photo
1969 James (jim) 2023

James (Jim) Robert Willis "Coach"

October 8, 1969 — April 12, 2023

James (Jim) Robert Willis was born on October 8, 1969, in Deming, NM, to parents Simuel and Janis Willis. He passed away on April 12, 2023, in Royse City, TX at the age of 53.

Jim graduated from Hughes Springs High School in 1988 and earned a Bachelor's degree from East Texas State University in 1994. During his career as a teacher and coach he worked at Bonham ISD, West Rusk ISD, Gladewater ISD and Royse City ISD where he impacted the lives of countless students and athletes.

Jim married Judith Lynn Johnson on June 14, 1997 at the First Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. The couple had 2 children, Wade Thomas Willis and Ryan James Willis.

Jim was best known for his love of sports, fishing and Corvettes. After a traumatic brain injury in 2006 and subsequent stroke in 2013, Jim's journey was often difficult but his positive attitude and kind spirit remained. His love for football, especially the Dallas Cowboys, movies and Dr. Pepper was known by all who spent time with him. He was immensely proud of his boys and would show their pictures and brag about them to staff, residents and visitors at Royse City Medical Lodge.

On behalf of the Willis family, a special thank you to the staff and residents of Royse City Medical Lodge for the kindness, loving care and friendship so freely given to Coach.

Although he will be missed by his loved ones here on earth, we know he has been healed and is rejoicing in heaven.

Jim is survived by his wife, Judith Willis, sons Wade Willis and Ryan Willis (Drisany); father Sim Willis (Suzanne); sister Joanne Gabriel; nieces and nephews Adam Rash (Annah), Andrew Rash, Allyson Rash, Emily Patterson and Luke Patterson; father-in-law Tom Johnson, mother-in-law Doris Johnson, sister-in-law Jennifer Patterson, brother-in-law Kyle Patterson, former brother-in-law Jeff Rash and many other family members and friends.

Jim is preceded in death by his mother Janis Robertson Willis.

Visitation for Jim Willis "Coach" will be held Tuesday, April 18, 2023 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at New Hope Funeral Home in Stateroom A. The service will be held on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at 10:00 AM in the chapel at New Hope Funeral Home.


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, April 18, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

New Hope Funeral Home - Stateroom A

2500 Oak Grove Rd, New Hope, AL 35760

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

New Hope Funeral Home - Chapel

500 US-80, Sunnyvale, TX 75182

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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