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Dan Willis

Dan Willis, age 68, of Kearney, formerly of Aurora, passed away Thursday, February 16, 2023, at CHI Health-Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney.

Funeral Services will be held 11:00 A.M., Tuesday, February 21st at the Westside Covenant Church, 1009 First Street, Aurora. Rev. Karl Larson will officiate. Private Family interment will be in the Richland Cemetery prior to the service. Visitation will be from 5 - 7 p.m. Monday, February 20th at the church. Memorials may be made in care of the family to be designated at a later date. Higby-McQuiston Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com.


Danny Lynn Willis, the son of Arcle L. and Donna (Voorhees) Willis, was born in Aurora, Nebraska on October 14, 1954 and passed away in Kearney, Nebraska on February 16, 2023, at the age of 68.

He grew up in Marquette and graduated from Marquette High School in 1973.

Dan was married to Jeri Peterson on April 6, 1974. They had three children: Micah, Heidi and Andrew. Dan worked at Palmberg Auto Supply and, Olson International, Friends Auto Supply and then traveled with Pacesetter Corporation for several years. Because he longed to be back home with his family, in 1995, Dan told his wife he was going to buy the next business that came up for sale in Aurora. That was Weller's Jewelry. He owned and operated Heartland Jewelry in Aurora with his wife Jeri for 25 years until his retirement in 2020. After retirement, he realized he missed interacting with people and began working part-time as an inventory clerk at Landmark Implements in Minden and taking tickets at the Viaero Events Center in Kearney.

Dan was a member of the Aurora Optimist Club, Aurora Chamber of Commerce, Westside Covenant Church, and Men in Action Team at Kearney efree Church. While living in Aurora he attended Westside Covenant and after moving to Kearney in 2020 he attended the Kearney efree Church. Dan enjoyed golfing, camping, doing home improvements, and wood working. Dan was a gifted craftsman and loved teaching his children and grandchildren valuable life skills. He loved spoiling and tickling his grandchildren, and attending their school activities.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Lonny Willis, nephew, Derek Nissen, and his sidekick, Wilson.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Jeri of Kearney; three children, Micah (Sara) Willis of Aurora, Heidi (Ethan) Vasko of Kearney and Andrew (Taylor) Willis of Aurora; 6 grandchildren, Rylan Willis and fiance' Tanner Ohlson, Madisyn Willis, Karsyn and Cooper Vasko and Austyn and Ledger Willis; sister, Deborah (Deryl) Nissen of Marquette, 13 nieces and nephews, other family members and a multitude of best friends.

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