Donald J. Wills, 67, Dexter

DEXTER, NY —  Donald “Donnie” J. Wills, 67, Dexter, passed away after a brief illness on April 30, 2021, at the Grandstrand Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, SC., an area where he spent the winter months.

Born on April 23, 1954 in Watertown, NY, the son of Paul and Mary Elizabeth (Loveland)Wills, Donnie attended General Brown High School.

He served in the Army from 1972 – 1975. During that time, he spent six months in Germany. He later re-enlisted with the Army National Guard and served in Operation Desert Storm with the 145th Maintenance Company. He retired from the National Guard with over 20 years of service. He also worked as a civilian on Ft. Drum. While at Ft. Drum, he worked for Directorate of Logistics at the ammunition supply point. He also worked as a heavy equipment operator and a fuel handler. He retired from Ft. Drum in 2008.

He married Karen S. Smith on August 13, 1977. They separated in 1990.

Donnie enjoyed fishing, traveling, old cars, and NASCAR. He was a loyal Atlanta Falcons football fan and loved attending his grandchildren’s sporting events. He and his companion Joanne were “Snowbirds” and enjoyed their winters in Myrtle Beach, SC.

He was a member of the Watertown Elks Lodge 496, Watertown VFW Post 1400, and the Brownville American Legion Post 588.

He is survived by his daughter Heidi (Jeremy)Tuttle and their children Mason and Noah, Carthage; a companion Joanne Pacella, Dexter; his siblings Jeanette (Ray) Benner, VA, Valeria Eaton, Rochester, and Ronald (Merilee) Wills, Mannsville; and several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

He was predeceased by his parents and a brother Gary.

A calling hour will be held 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, May 23, 2021, at the Johnson Funeral Home, Dexter.  A full military service will be held immediately following at 12:30pm. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Watertown VFW Post 1400 following the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Veterans Agency.

Online condolences may be made at