Sonora resident Rodney Dean Willis passed away on Aug 16, 2022, in Riverbank.
Born on Aug. 17, 1955, Rod was a lifelong resident of Tuolumne County. He was a 1973 graduate of Sonora Union High School and attended Columbia Junior College. He was an accomplished mechanic and heavy equipment operator, and could make almost any vehicle road worthy. He loved working on old cars, trucks and motorcycles. Motorcycle road trips became his favorite pastime.
Rod had a huge heart and would help anyone. He felt most honored when helping individuals struggling with alcohol addiction gain their sobriety.
Rod is survived by his significant other, Ms. Jody Bennett, of Sonora; siblings Frankye Ripley, of Oroville, June Willis, of Mena, Arkansas, Yvonne O’Daniel, and husband, Kenny, of McAlester, Oklahoma, Jim Willis, and his wife, Francine, of Mena, Arkansas, Jeff Willis, and his wife, Carol, of Artois, sister-in-law Brenda Willis, of Mena, Arkansas; and eight nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Grady Willis and Bertha Chaney Willis; and his brother, Virgil Willis.
An informal gathering and celebration of Rod’s life will be scheduled at a future date. Memorial contributions may be made to Red Church Lighthouse Ministry, 42 Snell St., Sonora, CA 95370.