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Ralph Willis, Adair County, KY (1950-2012)

He was a member of a large highly regarded family, historically remembered for its leadership role in the furthering civil rights, a cause he continued to champion. He leaves 14 direct living descendants. He was a member of First Baptist Church, a US Air Force Veteran, a former truck driver and was widely known as the owner of Old Barn Barbeque. He was a leader in neighborhood preservation and improvement. He had many friends and will be greatly missed.
Ralph Willis, 61, of Columbia, KY, died Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 5:04pmCT, at his residence after an illness.

Funeral service will be Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 7pmCT, at First Baptist Church, 847 Burkesville Street, Columbia, KY, with Pastor Kim Tuck delivering the eulogy. Burial will be private in Forest Lawn Cemetery, 4125 Johnson School Road, Columbia, KY, on Sunday, November 4, 2012. Visitation on Friday after 6pmCT, at Grissom-Martin Funeral Home, 200 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY, and after 4pmCT, Saturday, November 3, 2012 at First Baptist Church.

There will be no visitation on Saturday at the funeral home.

Casket Bearers: Doug Crawley, Vince Willis, Reggie Flowers, Keenan Bridgewater, Toby Young, Vincent Sanders, Dana Willis.

Honorary: Michael Graves, Foster Graves, Stanley Johnson, David Johnson, Greg Frost, Gary Frost, Larry Bryant, Paul McWhorter, and Bobby Union.

Ralph Willis, Adair County, KY (1950-2012)

He was born Wednesday, November 29, 1950, in Adair County, KY. He was the son of the late Earl and Jennie Vee Ewing Willis. He died Sunday, October 28, 2012, in Columbia, Adair County, KY, at the age of 61 years, 10 months, and 29 days.

He was a member of First Baptist Church, a US Air Force Veteran, a former truck driver and owner of Old Barn Barbeque.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a grandchild, Zion Willis and sister, Kay Willis Scott.

Survivors include:
  • His wife: Leetta Bridgewater Willis of Columbia, KY

  • Five children: Deidra (Robert) Willis of Columbia, KY; Ralphie (Ann) Willis of Bowling Green, KY; Marie (Anthony) Felton of Norfolk, VA; Gerald (Lauren) Grady of Atlanta, GA, and Trent Grady of Louisville, KY

  • Two sisters: Clara Lee Flowers and Earlene (Eddie) Thomas all of Columbia, KY

  • Three brothers: Fred (Jennie) Willis, James Mac (Antoinette) Willis all of Louisville, KY; and Glen (Cora) Willis of California

  • Eight grandchildren

  • One great grandchild and was expecting his second great grandchild

  • Several nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends
And he will be truly missed by four grand dogs and two grand cats.

Send a condolence to the family of Ralph Willis

Grissom-Martin Funeral Home in charge of arrangements

This story was posted on 2012-10-31 15:36:20
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Grissom-Martin Funeral Home
Located one block off the Square at 200 Campbellsville Street in Columbia, KY.
To reach David and Cathy Martin, phone (270)-384-2149, or e-mail:
Large enough to serve comfortably; Small enough to serve personally.

G & G Monuments
Todd and Mandi Green and Jared Conover
1670 Liberty Road, Columbia, KY. email:, 270-634-0359
First Quality Marble and Granite

Stotts-Phelps-McQueary Funeral Home
Established 1922 | 210 Greensburg St., Columbia, KY 42728 | Jeff Jessie, Owner
270-384-2145,, email


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