Willard joined the Army as a private in 1941, serving seven years and earning five Battle Stars, the Bronze Star for bravery, and attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel.
After a brief stint teaching military science at Eastern Kentucky University, Willard moved to Clarksville to practice dentistry. For 34 years, he saw patients at his office on Madison Street.
‘He’s just a great person’
Last year, Willard’s friends and family celebrated his 104th birthday with a parade in front of his home. Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts joined in the festivities, telling Clarksville Now that Willard was his own childhood dentist.
“I live the best I can, I do the best I can,” Willard told Clarksville Now at the celebration. “I’m getting cards all over the state of Tennessee.
At the party, fellow dentist Dr. Grace Lee said Willard was like an adopted grandfather to her. After the death of Willard’s wife in 2020, Lee would often keep Willard company.
“He’s just a great person,” Lee said at that time.
Celebrating Dr. Willard
A Celebration of Life Service will be held Sunday, at 2 p.m. at Neal-Tarpley-Parchman Funeral Home, with the Rev. Pat Van Dyke officiating. Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery.
Visitation will be Sunday from noon until the hour of service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, 435 Madison St., Clarksville, TN 37040; Kiwanis Club, P.O. Box 54, Clarksville, TN 37041-0054; or Meals on Wheels, c/o Mid-Cumberland Human Resources, 350 Pageant Lane, Suite 400, Clarksville, TN 37040.