Published: Tuesday, October 4th, 2005
James Willis Services: 6 p.m. on Saturday a celebration of his life at First United Methodist Church in Carlsbad. James Joseph (Joe) Willis, 79, died Sunday, Sept. 25, 2005, in Carlsbad. He was born April 28, 1926, in Nara Visa. He attended Melrose High School where he was a three-year letterman in football, basketball and track. He went on to compete at the University of New Mexico on an athletic scholarship where he lettered in football and played in the 1944 Sun Bowl. In 1944 he also joined the Navy; after his discharge he returned to college and completed his bachelor’s and later his master’s degree. His coaching career began in 1949 in Espanola where he accepted his first head coaching jobs in football and track and as athletic director. His long coaching career included track and football in Carlsbad, where he moved with his wife, Alyce Coffelt Willis, and their two daughters in 1956. He was line coach when Carlsbad won four state football championships, moved up to head coach and served as president of the New Mexico Coaches Association in 1964. He continued to serve as Carlsbad’s athletic director after retiring from coaching and introduced seven sports into the Carlsbad High School’s girls’ athletic program and oversaw the construction of gyms, field houses and baseball and softball fields. He was inducted into the New Mexico Coaches Hall of Fame in 1991. He is survived by his wife; his two daughters and sons-in law, Jo Pat Wellman (and husband, Forrest) and Jill Hadley (James); his granddaughters Robyn Wellman, Jennifer Hadley-White and Katy Wellman; three great-grandchildren and his niece and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family has set up the Joe Willis Memorial Scholarship through the Carlsbad Foundation, 116 S. Canyon, Carlsbad, NM, 88220. Arrangements are by Denton-Funchess Funeral Home of Carlsbad. Donald Gadbury Services: At 11 a.m. Saturday at the Senior Citizens Building on Martinez Street in Logan, a lunch will be held to celebrate his life. Donald Howard Gadbury, 68, died Thursday, Sept. 15, 2005, at Laurel Hills HealthCare in Tucumcari. He was born Sept. 22, 1936, in Lawton, Okla., to Harvey and Lucille Myers Gadbury. He moved to the area of Roswell and Dexter in 1939 with his family and attended grade school in Dexter and high school in Central City, Colo. He married Carole Lindsay in 1961 in Denver. On Feb. 18, 1983, he married Delores (Dee) Pech in Denver and lived in Dacono, Colo. After having worked in carpet laying in Massachusetts for six years, selling auto parts in Roswell and Las Cruces and working as a diesel truck mechanic in Dacono and Denver, he retired in 1998 after 23 years with Penske Truck Leasing. He and his wife Dee retired to Ute Lake near Logan in March 1999. Family members said he was a family man, known for his sense of humor, who loved New Mexico, hunting big game and fishing with his boys, cooking, Western movies, traveling and boating. He was preceded in death by his parents; his step dad, Cecil (Pete) Terpening; one sister, Fern Gady; and two half-brothers, John Pete Terpening and Michael Gadbury. He is survived by his wife Dee of Logan; five children, John Gadbury of Albuquerque, Donald Casey Gadbury (Tess) of Carlsbad, Michael Gadbury (Hope) of Northglenn, Colo., Fawn Gadbury of Thornton, Colo. and Missi Turecek (Trace) of Byers, Colo., three bonus (step) children, Debra Pech Rich (David) of Omak, Wash., Dan Pech (Shawn) of Denver and James Pech (Kim) of Mooresville, N.C.; a nephew who was like his own son, Bob Brown (Selma) of Roswell; one sister, Bette Jane Brodeur of Anton, Texas; one half sister, Quela Cummins of Paris, Ark.; two half brothers, Mike Terpening (Celeste) of Anton and Tom Terpening (Gail) of Danville, Calif.; 14 grandchildren; six bonus grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Cremation was performed by Direct Funeral Services in Albuquerque. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Circle of Friends at Don and Sybil Harrington Cancer Center, 1500 Wallace Blvd., Amarillo, TX 79106 or to Helping Hands Hospice, 615 S. 2nd St., Tucumcari, NM 88401.
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