Eugene Willis, Orthopedic Surgeon

August 16, 2009|By Jacques Kelly

Eugene Willis, a Howard County orthopedic surgeon, died of heart disease Tuesday at his Ellicott City home.

He was 67.

Born in Newport News, Va., and raised in Westminster and on the grounds of Fort Meade, he was a 1960 Arundel High School graduate. He earned a degree at Western Maryland College, now McDaniel College, where he played baseball and was a fraternity president. He earned a medical degree at the University of Maryland, served in the Army and did his orthopedic internship at Georgetown University Hospital and a residency at Kernan Hospital.

"He was an extraordinary older brother, generous, patient, sensitive and full of the qualities that make for a good bedside physician," said his brother, John T. Willis, former Maryland secretary of state who is now on the University of Baltimore faculty.

He established an orthopedics practice in Howard County and was later chairman of the professional staff at Howard County General Hospital, where he sat on the board of trustees from 1988 to 1995.

In 1985, he joined Patuxent Medical Group, a practice that served members of the Columbia Medical Plan.

Dr. Willis was a trustee of Howard County Community College and the Columbia Foundation.

A sports enthusiast, he played baseball in the Howard County Over 40 League.

He also enjoyed golf and pingpong.

Services will be held at 11 a.m Tuesday at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin River Road, Columbia.

In addition to his brother, survivors include a daughter, Amy Willis of Baltimore; two sons, Robert M. Willis of York, Pa., and David P. Willis of Hanover; his mother, Jane Twigg Willis of Westminster; and a grandson. His wife of 32 years, the former Carolyn "Casey" Henson, died in 2000.

- Jacques Kelly

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