Welcome to the Willis Cemetery     Willis, Texas

LETTER TO THE COURIER
Conroe Courier contacted us on April 29, 2008 for information about the Willis Cemetery.  This is a copy of the letter we submitted to them on April 30, 2008.

WILLIS CEMETERY

The Willis Cemetery began with only a few acres and is now approximately 22 acres and has been the resting place of many local families dating back to the early 1800’s.  In the beginning it was “self-maintained” and people would come up and mow their own lots.  Years later it was formed into a “non-profit corporation” by the people of Willis.  The cemetery is run by it’s board members and directors.  The maintenance of the cemetery is maintained by volunteers and paid workers.  It is funded by donations, and the sale of lot spaces.  There is  no compensation to any of the board members or directors of the Cemetery for any of their duties.

I understand that many people would like to have the Cemetery grass mowed and weeds cleaned around the monuments to a level of a well maintained golf course.  This will be possible one day by allowing the donations in the endowment funds to grow to a level that the interest will support this level of lawn service.  The current interest rate today on CDs and savings accounts that the funds are invested is limited to today’s market rate. 

My job as one of the administrators for the Cemetery has been to keep a balance between our current budget today for the maintenance of the cemetery, while making sure to protect the growth of funds to produce interest income for our future maintenance expenses.  We were blessed to have two ladies in Willis each donate  $10,000.00 in their estate and setup that the interest only could be used for the maintenance of the cemetery.  These donations are part of an endowment fund to ensure that the cemetery will receive maintenance money now and in the future.   The only other money generated for the care of the cemetery comes from the sale of lots in the cemetery. 

($10,000 invested in a CD at 5.5% APR today gives the cemetery $550.00 a year toward maintenance of the cemetery for the entire year.)

The total donations the Willis Cemetery received for the entire year in 2007 was $25.00.  I believe more people will contribute to the Willis Cemetery in the future and the budget will increase so that the cemetery will become a very well maintained cemetery.  It is the people of Willis and survivors of those that are buried in the cemetery that can make the difference through their contributions of both money and labor.  My “goal” is to see that the cemetery is maintained for every burial and holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas).  In addition to the maintenance of the grass we also prune trees and bushes, remove dead trees and branches, maintain the gates and fences, blade and fill pot holes in the road to keep them in good condition.  There is not enough funds to do everything mentioned above every year so we do the best we can within our budget.

This is my 36 th year to serve on the board of directors for the Willis Cemetery.  I do it because I care about the Cemetery’s well-being.  It is the resting place of my family and relatives.  I have spent countless hours showing lots, selling lots, meeting with families that have lost love ones, and working on many of the other needs of the cemetery.  I have not received any compensation for this and very little appreciation.  I do it because it is the right thing to do for the many friends and family of those that are laid to rest here in the Willis Cemetery.

I can remember in the past there was an ice storm in Willis that left many broken branches in the Cemetery.  Volunteers came and helped us gather and haul off many trailer loads of debris.  I feel the time has come to make it an annual event.  Spring cleanup for the cemetery will be the last weekend in April every year.  We want to invite the local community and churches to help support the Willis Cemetery by attending this important annual event.

We launched a web site www.WillisCemetery.com  to help keep the community informed and will soon be a place for us to post the following:

Schedule of upcoming events:

  •   Spring clean-up (volunteers needed)
  •   Restoration for many of the old markers and fences (volunteers needed)
  •   Grand Opening of New Sections for sale
  •   Tribute to the veterans that are buried in the cemetery (courtesy of 
  •   the American Legion)
  •   Find where someone is buried in the Cemetery ($10 fee)
  •   Genealogy information (volunteers needed)
  • Information for workers to give bids for many of the maintenance operations

Information for making donations for specific needs and for the maintenance endowment.

Send both correspondence and ** donations to:

 Willis Cemetery Association Inc.
C/O Mel Paddock
314 Harris Blvd
Conroe, TX  77301
(936)756-5459

**Donations may be tax-deductible be sure to check with your accountant.

 Sincerely,

M. B. Paddock
President