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Celebrating the life of
Dwaine Lee Willett
Passed away on August 19, 2019
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
912-352-7200
  • Visitation
  • 10:00am to 11:00am - Thursday, August 22, 2019
  • Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church
  • 429 Abercorn Street (Map)
    Savannah, Georgia 31401

  • 912-232-0191
  • Funeral Service
  • 11:00am - Thursday, August 22, 2019
  • Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church
  • 429 Abercorn Street (Map)
    Savannah, Georgia 31401

  • 912-232-0191
  • Entombment
  • Highland Memorial Gardens
  • 3329 Semoran Blvd. (Map)
    Apopka, Florida 32703

I was at East Lake for the PGA Championship and heard of Mr. Willett’s passing. I played golf with him here and this news brings brings sadness to my heart. This man was one of a kind. I flew with him to hunt in SD. Partnered with him at Douglasville Honda. He changed my life for the good. He was inspirational and a leader of men. Thank you, Dwaine !!!

Donald Parton, Oxford, AL

Thanks to the Willett family for the opportunity to work for a true professional and a true gentlemen for 20 years. He will be missed by all of us.

George & Barbara Berrong, Powder Springs, Ga

My dearest Aunt Cynthia, We are so sadden of the loss of Uncle Dwaine. He was a light, inspiration and mentor to so many people. He touched so many lives young and old. He passed on his entrepreneurial spirit to so many. His legacy will carry on. We love you so much and send you are deepest sympathy. Uncle Dwaine has entered the golden gates of heaven. Much love Laura, Irivn, Parker and Isabel

Laura, Irivn, Parker and Isabel, Port Orange , Fl

My dearest Aunt Cynthia, We are so sadden of the loss of Uncle Dwaine. He was a light, inspiration and mentor to so many people. He touched so many lives young and old. He passed on his entrepreneurial spirit to so many. His legacy will carry on. We love you so much and send you are deepest sympathy. Uncle Dwaine has entered the golden gates of heaven. Much love Laura, Irivn, Parker and Isabel

Laura, Irivn, Parker and Isabel, Port Orange , Fl

My dearest Aunt Cynthia, We are so sadden of the loss of Uncle Dwaine. He was a light, inspiration and mentor to so many people. He touched so many lives young and old. He passed on his entrepreneurial spirit to so many. His legacy will carry on. We love you so much and send you are deepest sympathy. Uncle Dwaine has entered the golden gates of heaven. Much love Laura, Irivn, Parker and Isabel

Laura, Irivn, Parker and Isabel, Port Orange , Fl

My dearest Aunt Cynthia, We are so sadden of the loss of Uncle Dwaine. He was a light, inspiration and mentor to so many people. He touched so many lives young and old. He passed on his entrepreneurial spirit to so many. His legacy will carry on. We love you so much and send you are deepest sympathy. Uncle Dwaine has entered the golden gates of heaven. Much love Laura, Irivn, Parker and Isabel

Laura, Irivn, Parker and Isabel, Port Orange , Fl

Cynthia, our warmest condolences to you and the family. Our thoughts go out to you at this very sad time. Dwaine will be missed.

Don & Audrey Martin, Williamsburg, VA

Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to Cynthia and the Willett family. May God Bless. Steve Fuller Savannah Ga

Steve Fuller, Savannah, Ga

Dearest Cynthia and family , A light that brought so much light to many will shine forever in our hearts . Heartfelt Sympathies

Becht ,Lorraine ,Eddie and Family , Port Orange , Fl

Dwaine Lee Willett, 93, of Bluffton, South Carolina, died on August 19, 2019, at Memorial University Medical Center.
Born to Alfred Willett and Loida Elaine Etherton on July 7, 1926, and raised in Superior, Nebraska, Mr. Willett resided in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and Indiana before settling in the Lowcountry eleven years ago.
From 1945 through 1948, Mr. Willett served in the Air Force. Upon discharge, he received the Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon, the Victory Medal and Good Conduct Medal. Mr. Willett then studied accounting at Hartness Business College.  In 1949, he became an office manager at an automobile dealership, working his way into sales and then to general manager.  In 1956, he purchased his first dealership, Willett Ford, in Valparaiso, Indiana, which he sold nearly a decade later to open a larger Ford dealership in Rockford, Illinois. During this time, Mr. Willett was a member of the Ford Dealer Council and head of the Chamber of Commerce.

In 1969, Mr. Willett sold the Illinois dealership to Ford and moved to the Atlanta area where he bought a Lincoln Mercury Dealership in Decatur.  In 1972, he entered the car rental business, buying Budget of Atlanta. Ultimately, he and his partner added Budget sites in seven additional cities. At the same time, he purchased dealerships in Decatur (Chevrolet, Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Toyota); in Orlando (Toyota); in Sanford (Cadillac); and in Morrow and Douglasville (Honda). In 1992, he built Willett Auto Body Shop in Decatur.

Mr. Willett’s business and community interests were numerous. In 1988, he became a member of the Board of Directors for First Mercantile National Bank which was bought by Regions Bank in 1997. In 1993, he bought and developed 46 acres into an executive neighborhood in Longwood, Florida.

Always the consummate gentleman, Dwaine Willett was a big man with a big heart. His love for family and friends knew no boundaries. When he wasn’t pursuing business interests, Dwaine was happiest hunting with his friends, watching sports (especially baseball), and hosting family and friends in homes that they designed for this purpose. Nothing gave him more pleasure than spending time with his family and watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren play together.

Mr. Willett is survived by Cynthia Willett, his loving wife of 31 years. He and Cynthia, affectionately known to him as “Cyn,” shared a remarkable love affair, working, playing, and making all decisions together. In 2015, in honor of “Cyn,” and in recognition of their shared hope to see sick children healed, he generously named the Dwaine and Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah.

Dwaine was blessed with six children from a previous marriage: four daughters and sons-in-law, Susan (Gary) Sawyer, of Omaha, Nebraska, Cynthia (Jackson) Smith of Decatur, Georgia, Claudia (Dick) French of Snellville, Georgia, and Carrie (Paul) Chesser of Jefferson, Georgia; two sons and daughters-in-law, Scott (Kelly) Willett of McDonough, Georgia, and Jeffery (Beatrice) Willett of Kennesaw, Georgia; twenty-one grandchildren; and sixteen great-grandchildren. He is also survived by one sister, Jean Fredbloom of Avon, Indiana.

When we think of Dwaine Willett, we will remember his bright blue eyes, his warm, engaging smile, his wonderfully dry sense of humor, his deliberate, calm demeanor in every situation, his quick, calculating mind, his generous spirit, his love of life, and his determination not to leave us no sooner than he had to.

The family will gather privately on Wednesday, August 21, from 5 pm until 7 pm at Fox & Weeks, Hodgson Chapel.
Dwaine’s service will be at Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church, where he was a member, on Thursday, August 22, at 11 am. Viewing is from 10 am to 11 am.
The family suggests remembrances be made to Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church Children’s Ministries at 429 Abercorn St., Savannah, Ga. 31401.

Mr. Willett will be interred in Apopka, Florida.  The Visitation will be 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Sunday at Highland Funeral Home, with the Graveside Service to follow at 12 p.m. at Highland Memory Gardens in Apopka, Florida.

 

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I was at East Lake for the PGA Championship and heard of Mr. Willett’s passing. I played golf with him here and this news brings brings sadness to my heart. This man was one of a kind. I flew with him to hunt in SD. Partnered with him at Douglasville Honda. He changed my life for the good. He was inspirational and a leader of men. Thank you, Dwaine !!!

Donald Parton, Oxford, AL

Candle tribute lit by Angela Chancey — Florida

Thanks to the Willett family for the opportunity to work for a true professional and a true gentlemen for 20 years. He will be missed by all of us.

George & Barbara Berrong, Powder Springs, Ga

Candle tribute lit by Kelly Hunt — Georgia

My dearest Aunt Cynthia, We are so sadden of the loss of Uncle Dwaine. He was a light, inspiration and mentor to so many people. He touched so many lives young and old. He passed on his entrepreneurial spirit to so many. His legacy will carry on. We love you so much and send you are deepest sympathy. Uncle Dwaine has entered the golden gates of heaven. Much love Laura, Irivn, Parker and Isabel

Laura, Irivn, Parker and Isabel, Port Orange , Fl

My dearest Aunt Cynthia, We are so sadden of the loss of Uncle Dwaine. He was a light, inspiration and mentor to so many people. He touched so many lives young and old. He passed on his entrepreneurial spirit to so many. His legacy will carry on. We love you so much and send you are deepest sympathy. Uncle Dwaine has entered the golden gates of heaven. Much love Laura, Irivn, Parker and Isabel

Laura, Irivn, Parker and Isabel, Port Orange , Fl

My dearest Aunt Cynthia, We are so sadden of the loss of Uncle Dwaine. He was a light, inspiration and mentor to so many people. He touched so many lives young and old. He passed on his entrepreneurial spirit to so many. His legacy will carry on. We love you so much and send you are deepest sympathy. Uncle Dwaine has entered the golden gates of heaven. Much love Laura, Irivn, Parker and Isabel

Laura, Irivn, Parker and Isabel, Port Orange , Fl

My dearest Aunt Cynthia, We are so sadden of the loss of Uncle Dwaine. He was a light, inspiration and mentor to so many people. He touched so many lives young and old. He passed on his entrepreneurial spirit to so many. His legacy will carry on. We love you so much and send you are deepest sympathy. Uncle Dwaine has entered the golden gates of heaven. Much love Laura, Irivn, Parker and Isabel

Laura, Irivn, Parker and Isabel, Port Orange , Fl

Cynthia, our warmest condolences to you and the family. Our thoughts go out to you at this very sad time. Dwaine will be missed.

Don & Audrey Martin, Williamsburg, VA

Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to Cynthia and the Willett family. May God Bless. Steve Fuller Savannah Ga

Steve Fuller, Savannah, Ga

Dearest Cynthia and family , A light that brought so much light to many will shine forever in our hearts . Heartfelt Sympathies

Becht ,Lorraine ,Eddie and Family , Port Orange , Fl

Candle tribute lit by Lorraine and Becht — Florida


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