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Marith A. Willis

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Marith A. Willis, 70, of Carlisle, passed away on Monday, April 23, 2012, at Select Specialty Hospital in Camp Hill. She was born on Saturday, October 11, 1941, in Missoula, MT, a daughter of the late Ralph Y. and Helen E. (McKee) McGinnis.

She was a 1959 graduate of Sentinel High School in Missoula and was voted first runner-up in the 1961 Miss Montana Beauty Pageant. She was also a 1964 graduate of the University of Montana, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadfield English. Marith retired after fifteen years of Civil Service, where she was a school administrator for Early Childhood Education with the Department of Defense. She was a member St. John’s Episcopal Church, Carlisle, where she was a former choir member and participated with the Women of the Well and Twelfth Night. Marith was also a member of Sigma Kappa Sorority, the Eastern Star in Missoula, a member of Cantate Carlisle for 10 years, and was a leader of the Show Choir at Carlisle High School. Marith sang professionally and was involved in many Community Theaters while stationed with her husband around the world.

Marith is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 49 years, Col. (Ret) Richard C. Willis, US Army, two sons; James A. (and his wife, Robin) Willis of Terre Haute, IN and Joseph M. (and his wife, Sandra) Willis of Alexandria, VA, one brother, George R. McGinnis of Lakeside, MT, three grandchildren; Zachary, Austin and Katherine Willis and three nieces; Pam, Amanda and Katy. Marith was preceded in death by her sister, Pearl Erny.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2012, at 11 a.m. in St. John's Episcopal Church, On the Square in Carlisle, with Rev. Dr. Mark A. Scheneman officiating. Burial will be private. Visitation and fellowship will immediately follow the service in the church parish hall. Ewing Brothers Funeral Home, Carlisle, is assisting the family with the arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

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Dear Richard and Family:
We are very sadden by the passing of your wonderful Marith. She was a beautiful woman of integrity and devotion. We really enjoyed her voice in the choir. She is just a beautiful person. It was a pleasure knowing her and the memories will remain. God's hands will warm your heart as you go through this difficult time. He surely will give you peace. God be with you and your family.

Susan and Robert Startzel

Marith and her sister Penny were both in high school with me. I appreciated Marith's bubbly personality and positive attitude. I will miss knowing that she is not on this earth.

Loreen Craig Folsom

I am so sad to hear of Marith's passing, She was a beautiful being inside and out, and I am so sorry that she had such a hard time for the past few years. I am sending prayers to Marith, Penny, Richard and the whole family. I am sure she will be deeply missed.

Joanna Lester

 Dear Dick and family,
 Marith was a beautiful person and will always be remembered as such. You mentioned at our reunion that she wasnt well, but I didnt realize how ill she must have been. My sincere sympathy to you, and I will look forward to seeing you again at our next reunion. 

Phil Barney


Dick -
 So sorry to hear of Marith's passing. She was a very special lady.
Blessings and prayers to you and your family.

Dennis Craig

I was sorry to learn of Marith's death. She (and Penny) and I were neighborhood brats together, both of the same year at old Roosevelt grade school, me in the 600 block of 6th Street and Marith in the 700 block of Eddy. I saw her at a reunion years ago, but lost touch. I was I think also was a year behind you. Our thoughts are with you.

Dave and Jane Browman

 I have fond memories of Marith not only from our high school days at MCHS but also from our school days at the old Roosevelt Grade School.

Peace be with you.
Linda Lennox

 I was so sorry to read about Marith's passing. I went to high school with her and she was a wonderful person!

Linda (Beavers) Hudak

 Hello Dick:
I was so sorry to hear about Marith's death. She was a friend from early childhood, and a great human being. I am so glad both of you were able to come to the class reunion, and I hope you and your family will recover from this in good time.

Doug Chaffey

Words can not replace you, you did so much for all of us in the class of '59'. You will always be a
part of our class and our lives. Fair well with a gentle following sea.

Don Morin

 My sincere condolences on your loss.

 Col Ken Lawrence, MCHS 59

 I was so sorry to hear of Marith's passing.
 I was a friend of her's during our freshman year of HS.
My prayers are with all of you.

Sandi Kallis Beaudette

 Blossoms at night, and the faces of people moved by music.
 Issa- Dick & Family, Marith's beauty as a person will be missed by many.

Sara Steadman


Mrs. Willis, was a wonderful Show Choir for Carlisle High School. We met my freshman year of high school, she was my director for two years. She was full of knowledge that we all needed to learn from. Riding in her car for our performances we got to know one another. She always talked about her grandchildren, and of course her husband the Col. She carried her friend Hector which we all grew to love. Know which moves to tell us to do, she never said an unkind word. Her voice was never ending, and she was an excellent piano player that I could listen for hours. She will always be in my heart for the impact she made on not only my life but other hearts that she touched.

Amanda Peters

Dear family,
I was saddened to learn of Marith's passing. I had the honor of singing with her in Cantate Carlisle for ten years and usually found my position next to her. We shared many special times of long rehearsals, wonderful concerts and building friendships. It was my pleasure to know her. You have my prayers for comfort at this very difficult time. May you know the peace and comfort of our great God as you remember her life and love.

Cathy Smock

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Ewing Brothers Funeral Home, Inc.
Since 1853
630 S. Hanover St., Carlisle, PA 17013
Phone:  (717) 243-2421
"Five Generations of Service"
Steven A. Ewing, FD, Supervisor, Owner
William M. Ewing, FD
(1926 ~ 2009)
Seymour A. Ewing, FD
(1926 ~ 2009)
Jessie Morrison Ewing, FD
(1892 ~ 1988)
William J. Ewing, FD
(1898 ~ 1934)
Hastings A. Ewing, FD
(1866 ~ 1924)
Alexander B. Ewing, FD
(1831 ~ 1903)

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