John Willett

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Daily Press
December 14, 1949

Willett Rites at 2 Thursday

Funeral services for J. Addison Willett Jr, 71, general manager of the Mutual Home and Savings Association; who died at 12:20 yesterday afternoon, will be held at 2 Thursday afternoon in the home of his stepmother, Mrs. J. A. Willett, Sr., 312-63rd St.

Mr. Willett, a resident of this area 60 years, was actively identified with the First Presbyterian Church of Newport News. He served his church as a member of the board of deacons and as a Sunday School superintendent, among other activities.

He resided at 316-60th St., where death occurred after a short illness.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Carrie A. Willett; a son, J. Addison Willett III; his stepmother; a stepson, Allen Moessinger; three grandchildren; one niece, Mrs. Fred N. Thompson, all of Newport News, and a sister, Mrs. Leroy Edwards of Miami, FL.

Officiating at the rites will be the Rev. Paul K. Buckles, D. D. pastor of the First Presbyterian Church; the Rev. E. T. Wellford, D. D., pastor emeritus of the First Presbyterian Church and the Rev. Roy L. Sloop, pastor of the Trinity Lutheran Church. Burial will be in Greenlawn Cemetery.

Active pallbearers will be S. H. Plummer, J. Neal Scott, Dr. R. Cowles Taylor, E. F. Dugger, C. K. Hutchens, H. W. Chandler, and B. C. Greene. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the board of deacons of the First Presbyterian Church, the Pioneers and other friends of the family.

Mr. Willett also was occupied many years with his interest in civic and fraternal affairs and was a member of the Newport News Rotary Club, the Pioneers, and Sons of American Revolution and the Masons.


Daily Press
December 14, 1949

J. Addison Willett

J. Addison Willett Jr., who died yesterday afternoon, in many ways followed the footsteps of a universally revered father-John A. Willett, who passed to his reward only a few years ago. “Ad” Willett never attained the community prominence of his sire. That in some sense was to be expected, since the father came to Newport News in its pioneer days and went immediately into a prominent
business position; the son grew up as the city grew larger. But both played their parts, and neither was any minor part, in the community’s growth.

John Willett was one of the leaders in the establishment and growth of the First Presbyterian Church, was one of the most active members in it’s congregation until failing health slowed him, and was one of it’s ruling elders for many years. “Ad” Willett, though less prominently identified with the active work of the church, served as one of its deacons for a long time and did his part to
carry on it’s work.

Personal prestige can be a useful thing or a harmful thing. It depends on the personality. The prestige of a good man is used for the good of his neighbors. The Willetts, father and son, have used theirs thus. Their immediate name in this community dies with Ad Willett, for Ad had no sons. Their influence lingers.

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