Lee "Doak" Willett
Lee Bryan "Doak" Willett, of Athens, died Friday, June 29, 2018, at his residence.
Doak was a native of Sweetwater and was preceded in death by parents Brumitt B. and Velma Wilburn Willett.
During World War II Doak served in the Merchant Marines before serving in the U.S. Army Air Corp, where he played on the 509th Bombardment Group Atomic Bombers Football Team in 1946. After his military service he attended Tennessee Wesleyan where he played on the Junior College National Championship football team and he began a lifelong friendship with then future Heisman trophy winner and coach, Steve Spurrier. Doak coached Elks midget league football for many years, his team the Colts, had a 27 game winning streak and won the championship 3 consecutive years. He influenced many young boys by stressing proper morals, leadership, honesty and integrity. As a results of his accomplishments and community service he was inducted into the Tennessee Wesleyan Hall of Fame in 1996.
He was a former member of Sons of American Revolution and was a descendant of Revolutionary War soldier John Shell.
He was a member of Keith Memorial United Methodist Church and prior to joining Keith he was a long time active member of First Baptist Church of Athens. Doak's trust in Christ began in his adult life. Therefore as Christians we grieve not as those who have no hope, but as those who have a unique hope in the risen Christ.
Doak was a three-time cancer survivor and remained a fierce warrior throughout the fourth and final episode. The words failure and quit were not in his vocabulary. He fought the good fight, finished the race-well done.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Johnnye Shoemaker Willett, Athens; children, Kim Willett Jones, Knoxville, Kerry Shane (Skip) and wife Sara Lynne Willett, Athens, and Richard D. (Richy) and wife Dianne Willett,Kingston. He is survived by six grandchildren, Rachel Jones, Knoxville, David Jones, Knoxville, Maverick Willett, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Dillon Willett and wife Erica, Kingston, Kelli Wear and husband Randy, Cartersville, GA, and Jill Lingerfelt and husband Jeremy, Kingston. He is also survived by sister Eleanor Willett Jenkins, Loudon, two nieces Deborah Giles, Loudon, and Karen Reynolds, Lenoir City, two nephews, Dan Derrick, Tellico Village and David Derrick, Athens, and his dear friend, Carl Hutsell.
A Celebration of Life service will be conducted, 7:00 pm, Monday, July 2, 2018, at Keith Memorial United Methodist Church with Rev. David Graybeal and Rev. Mike Hubble officiating. Entombment will be 11:00 am, Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at McMinn Memory Gardens with military honors provided by the U.S. Army. The family will receive friends from 5:00-7:00pm Monday at the church prior to the service.
The family suggests in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to our local McMinn County Veterans Honor Guard for purchase of new rifles to be used in military funerals, c/o VFW Post 5146, 706 N. Congress Pkwy, Athens, TN 37303.