Willis M. “Willie” Haddix

Willis M. “Willie” Haddix


Sunrise November 26, 1926 — Sunset October 20, 2022

Willis M. “Willie” Haddix, 95, of Mason City passed away Thursday, October 20, 2022, at his daughter’s home in Minneapolis.

Willis was born November 25, 1926, in Bokchito, Oklahoma, to Henry Haddix, a full-blooded Indian in his nineties, and Esme Bennett, an African American in her sixties. 

The family soon moved to Texas. His father sadly died when Willis was only four years old and his mother when he was six. He then went to live with his mother’s sister, his Aunt Georgia, and her husband Jim Floyd, who were sharecroppers. He helped to pick cotton in Texas.

He lived in a few places while in Texas, including Wolfe City. Willis then moved to Kansas City, MO, where he worked for the Burlington Line (Chicago, Burlington, and Quincey) cleaning steam engines.

He also worked at the brickyard, making clay for 86 cents an hour. He then took a job at Armour Meats where he received a raise to $1.18 an hour. 

Willis always believed in doing a good job and giving it his best effort. 1965 was a particularly proud year for Willis; not only did he pay off the mortgage on his house, but he was able to earn his GED.

He remained at Armour Meats for over 40 years until his retirement in 1988. Willis also collected junk with his buddy under the name “Back and White.” He spent countless hours volunteering to transport veterans to and from the VA Hospital and Clinic in Des Moines to north Iowa. 

Willis is survived by his daughter, Ruth Ann James (Jack); his grandson Larry (Carrie) Brown; great-grandchildren, Tim Brown, Gabrielle Brown and Braeden Brown; great great grandchildren, Boston, Hayes, and Embry; nephews, Larry Clardy (Lemetrie) and Kelly Price; nieces, Marilyn Brown and Linda Bell; great-nephew, Wayne Brown; as well as many other nieces and nephews, cousins, and a host of extended family and friends. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Esme; his beloved wife, Ruby Haddix; brothers, James Haddix and Boots Haddix; sisters-in-law, Mary Clardy, Doris Jones, Delores Price, and Ruth Haddix; aunts, Georgia Floyd (Jim) and Lorene (Mac) McGruder; niece, Ruby Elaine Price, and nephews, Craig Jones, and James “Jimmy” Clardy, Jr.

A Celebration of Life will be held ​at ​11 am on Friday, November 4, 2022, at Hogan Bremer Moore Colonial Chapel, 126 3rd St. NE, Mason City. Inurnment will follow in Elmwood St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City.

Willis’ family will greet relatives and friends from 10 am until the time of his service. 

Cards may be sent to 4440 Oakland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407. 

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