HIGH POINT James Wesley Willard, 74, of High Point, went to be with our Lord, Saturday, February 9 in the comfort of his home surrounded by his loved ones. He was born in Mount Airy to the late Rachel Claire and James Wesley Willard, Sr. and lived in High Point from early childhood. He is predeceased by his sister Betty Williams of Thomasville.
James, known as Jay, is survived by his wife of 51 years, Linda Thompson Willard, three daughters, Dina McDaniel and husband Gary, Lisa Snider and husband Bill, Angel Smith and husband Ron. Jay was blessed with nine grandchildren - Kris Wheat and husband Kevin, Shane Boone, Michael McDaniel, Megan Lynch, Sami Joe Snider, Hannah Bay Snider, Jake Smith, Julia Smith and Ethan Smith. His blessings also include five great grandchildren - Jack Wheat, Sophie Wheat, Hutch Wheat, Brody Lynch and Dayne Coby, and his constant companion, an Australian Shepherd named Buster. He is survived by his three brothers, Doug Willard and wife Gladys, Eddie Willard and wife Gaye, Pat Willard and wife Bobbie, two sisters Katherine Shew and husband Don and Glenda Ledford along with numerous nieces and nephews all beloved.
In 1954, Jay joined the US Air Force and was stationed at Homestead Air Force Base in Florida. While there, he met and married his love, moved to North Carolina, and joined the High Point Fire Department where he retired as Captain after 35 years. He also had his own Plumbing Contractor business which included services for Sears and many others.
Jay never met a stranger and was fortunate to find his true passion in Cowboy Ministry. He was instrumental in starting Cowboy Churches across the Triad. In April 2006, he was commissioned as a Cowboy Missionary, taking the call to spread the gospel to surrounding areas. Within this ministry, Jay enjoyed preparing and serving food for the local outreach events.
Jay was the most happy and content while spending time out at his barn taking care of his horses. He loved long trail rides and camping with his family and friends. His family meant the world to him and in his last days he reflected on all that he and his wife had created. He wanted to be remembered for his love for the Lord and for his family. His legacy will continue and his family has received comfort knowing he is having the ride of his life with Jesus.
The family will receive friends at Cumby Funeral Home in Archdale on Friday, February 15, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. The memorial service will be held at Hayworth Wesleyan Church, 1696 Westchester Drive, High Point, Saturday, February 16, at 11 a.m. followed by a graveside service at Floral Garden Cemetery. Donations can be made in honor of Jay Willard to Providence Wesleyan Church Building Fund, 1505 E. Fairfield Rd. in High Point.
Online condolences may be left on Mr. Willard's memorial page at www.cumbyfuneral.com
Arrangements made by Cumby Family Funeral Service, Archdale.