Thomas Kurt Willis

Nov. 12, 1941 – Oct. 30, 2018

Thomas Kurt Willis, 76,

of Lubbock, TX died at

home in his sleep Tues-

day, October 30, 2018.

Tom was born No-

vember 12, 1941 in Cen-

tral City, NE, son of Or-

ville and Druscilla Faye

(Thomas) Willis.

Tom is survived by his

wife, (January 4, 1991),

Paula (Nielson) Lin-

dekugel-Willis; son,

Shawn (Melissa) Willis,

Suffolk, VA; daughter,

Amy (George) Steinwald,

San Antonio, TX; step-

daughter, Lynnae Ripley,

Lubbock, TX; grandson,

Christopher Willis,

Newport, RI; grandson,

Wilson Steinwald, San

Antonio, TX; grand-

daughter, Gabrielle Willis,

Tuscaloosa, AL; step-

granddaughters, Dom-

inique Leija, Honolulu,

HI, Demetria Leija, Cor-

vallis, OR; former spouse

(1966-1987), Linda (Mem-

ming) Willis Fisher,

Bloomington, IL; life-long

friend of 60 years, Charles

Grantham, Raleigh, NC.

His parents and his sis-

ter Patricia Faye Cross

preceded him in death.

After graduating from

Grand Island High School,

Grand Island, NE in 1959,

he went on to serve in the

US Navy until the end of

1962. He then earned a

Bachelor of Science De-

gree in Art Education at

Kearney State College,

Kearney, NE and later, in

1991, a Master of Fine

Arts in Art at Ft. Hays

State University, Hays,


Tom enjoyed a long and

distinguished career as a

Professor Fine Arts at

Minot State University,

Minot, ND where he

taught ceramics, jewelry,

sculpture and 3-D design

until his retirement in

2000 at which time he

was granted the title of

Professor Emeritus. In his

retirement, he continued

to substitute teach at vari-

ous area public schools.

After their house was

taken in the 2011 Minot

flood, he and Paula relo-

cated to Florence, OR

where they lived until last

year. Their recent move to

Lubbock was for them to

be closer to Paula’s natur-

al daughter Lynnae.

Tom was a man of

many interests. Along

with his intense love of

fine art, Tom was an avid

hunter and fisherman. In

his younger days he

played tennis almost

everyday and as he ap-

proached middle age, he

turned to golf as his pri-

mary activity. He also en-

joyed sports cars, playing

the guitar and watching

movies. Most of all, he en-

joyed entertaining. He

was an accomplished

gourmet chef and hosted

many dinner parties for

friends and family over

the years.

Cremation rites were

accorded. A private Cele-

bration of Life will be

held at a later date.

Memorials may be

designated to the Minot

State University Tom

Willis Art Scholarship


Condolences may be

sent to Paula at her home:

2513 58th Street, Lub-

bock, TX 79413-5631 or

online at www.resthaven