Willis Day went to be with his Lord and Savior on October 11, 2020 at the age of 94. Willis was born on September 28th , 1926 in Enid, Oklahoma. He was the first-born son of William and Flora Day. Willis married Cleo (McColm) Day on October 11, 1947. Together they raised their seven children; Cathleen (George) Goodwin, Mitchell Day, Diane (John) Mahlberg, Jennifer (Jerry) Burtard, Colleen (Gary) Carroll, Kevin (Gayla) Day, and Judy Sawyer. Willis opened and managed numerous meat departments for both Safeway and Circle Soopers. Willis and Cleo owned and operated several different businesses, including grocery stores/meat markets in the Canon City area, a game center in Florence and the Wetmore General Store in Wetmore, CO. Willis grew up as many did in those lean years, barefoot in the summer and one pair of leather shoes for winter, blue and white striped overalls, a few inches too short, and a bull dog named Buster by his side. When the family moved to Holly, Colorado, they homesteaded on the dusty plains, and Willis learned that if he could run fast, he could avoid being the target of the migrant workers kids after school. Those running talents proved useful years later as he made a name for himself at Canon City High School. “Speedy” Day made all the headlines as he tore up the football field. The defenders couldn’t catch him as he raced down the field for the goal line. He fixed up an old 32 Ford, and he claims he could outrun any cop in Canon City, or Florence, including the Chief of Police in Florence, Owen Bently McColm. This would not bode well in his favor when he discovered later that Owen had a beautiful daughter at home, named Cleo. Willis left his carefree high school days before graduation and found himself trudging through the jungles of the Philippines and the war-torn streets of Tokyo. He saw and experienced things that he didn’t talk about much. Willis returned to Canon City after serving his country. Upon his return, Willis leased a storefront from Owen where he met his future bride Cleo. Welcoming Willis in Heaven is his wife Cleo, daughter Judy, grandson Jason Mahlberg and, son-in-law Jerry Burtard. His parents and brother Earl. He is survived by his six children, sixteen grandchildren; David (Trena) Goodwin, Willis (Diana) Day, Jamie Mahlberg, Wendy (Tim) Conley, Carrie (Zeke) Porter, Heidi (Chad) Bair, Josh (Anna) Carroll, Joe Burtard, Cody Day, Dominic (Lora) Day, Jared Burtard, Meagan (Mike) Kilcoyne, Casey (Stephanie) Day, Kelly (Zach) Kruis, Caleb (Alli) Sawyer, Katie Sawyer, and twenty-seven great grandchildren. Funeral services are entrusted to Harwood Funeral Home in Canon City. Services will be held on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at Evangelical Free Church. Burial will follow at Mountain Vale Cemetery in Canon City. Please join the family at the Wetmore Community Building for “Willis’s Famous Chili” and Celebration of his life at 5:00 p.m. on October 15th. In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be made in Willis Day’s honor to Sangre de Cristo Hospice.
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Sangre De Cristo Hospice
601 Greenwood Avenue, Canon City CO 81212