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ELLSWORTH – Arthur Richard Willis, 76, died Dec. 30, 2011, at an Ellsworth hospital after a short and courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born June 29, 1935, in Bangor, son of Arthur and Ethel (Smith) Willis.

He entered the U.S. Air Force after fours years in the U.S. Navy in August 1956, and graduated from Air Police School, Parks Air Force Base, California, in October 1956. He served in active duty air/security police units in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, France, Vietnam and Taiwan. His most memorable experience was flight chief of Cougar Security, Da Nang Air Base, Vietnam, from March 1969 to October 1970. His last assignment was Ncoic of Air Force Customs section in Tinan Air Base, Taiwan. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Air Force Commendation Medal. He received after retirement a degree in law enforcement from the University of Maine. Richard worked 10 years for Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department, retiring as sergeant. He was a member of Trenton Post No. 207, life member of National Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 14000, life member of Vietnam Security Police Association and life member of the USS Lake Champlain Association. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and traveling, especially trips to Alaska and Florida with his wife, Maxine.

He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Maxine (Cray) Willis; sons, Richard and wife, Cheryl, of Hampden, Mass., and Michael and wife, Tina, of Old Town; daughter, Kathy and husband, Ray, of Hampden, Mass.; two granddaughters, four grandsons; and special friend, Linwood Stone and wife, Frances.

Calling hours will be held 4-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, at Jordan-Fernald, 113 Franklin St., Ellsworth, where a funeral service will be held 5:30 p.m. with Pastor Gerry Dill officiating. Interment with full military honors will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4, at Maine Veterans Cemetery, Augusta. Contributions in Richard’s memory may be made to Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, care of Palliative Care Suite, 50 Union St., Ellsworth, ME 04605. Condolences may be expressed at


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