Viola “Vi” Wills (nee Cooper) was born October 19th, 1954 in Ponca City, OK to John and Naomi Cooper(nee Decker). She passed peacefully from this Earth into the arms of her Creator on September 27th, 2017 at her home in Pawnee, OK. Her father’s work brought the family to Pawnee in 1963 where they grew and her joy of cheering on others became a hallmark of her life. She married her high school sweetheart, and love of her life, Alfred “Lee” Wills Jr. on June 1st, 1972 soon after graduating from Pawnee High School. Her knowledge and work ethic made her an invaluable member of the community and beloved by many. From offering her time, skills and energy to town committees such as the Chamber of Commerce or the Rodeo Committee and to her children’s many activities, whether chaperoning cheerleaders or keeping the book at baseball games to painting signs for Homecoming. You always knew when she was at a game because her excitement, and voice, traveled through a crowd, not just for her kids, but for the team. She contributed through her work; 20 years at the Dept. of Human Services, she worked at Pawnee Bills State Park for a time before becoming the executive assistant to the President of the Pawnee Nation and then finished her time at the tribe as Director of the Gaming Commission. She was a natural leader and prime example that hard work pays off in life. Her greatest joys in life were her family, most especially her grandchildren. But, it is hard to talk about family because if you knew Vi, at one point or another she treated you as family, either through encouragement, a prayer or taking you to task because she knew you could do better. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”-Mother Teresa. Vi created many ripples by touching lives and we hope that her legacy will live on in us and her community.
She is preceded in death by her parents, John and Naomi Cooper; sister, Charlotta Hatfield(Cooper); brother, Steve Cooper. She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Lee Wills of Pawnee; their son, Joshua Wills and his wife, Emilee and grandsons J.P. and Nolan Wills of Siloam Springs, AR; their daughter, Olivia Delaughder and her husband, Kevin and granddaughter, Alexandria “Alex” Delaughder of Mulvane, KS. Her brothers, Ronnie Cooper and George Cooper; her sister, Christina Switch, and her many much loved nieces and nephews.