Willard Eugene "Red" Mitts, 83, of Fort Scott, Kan., formerly of Linn County, Kan., died Friday, Feb. 10, 2012, at Mercy Health Center, Fort Scott.
He was born Oct. 2, 1928, at Amoret, Mo., the son of Robert and Eva Jewell Shaw Mitts. Willard "Red" spent most of his life in the Linn County area, graduating from Pleasanton High School. He married Wanda Grosshart who preceded him in death in 1962. He later married Mary McGoey on July 14, 1963, and between them they raised six children.
He spent most of his life doing what he loved most, trucking, beginning at Steven's Produce in Prescott, Kan., and later teaching truck driving school at Fort Scott Community College for 15 years. He also farmed in Linn County for 27 years, often helping out friends and family. He was preceded in death also by his parents; his first wife, Wanda; a son, John Davis and a sister Evelyn Christine Linville.
Survivors include his wife; Mary Jane Mitts of Fort Scott, Kan.; his daughters; Waneta Cox and Garen of Independence, Kan.; Dixie Bollinger and Rodney of Mound City, Kan., and Doneta Mitts of Pleasanton, Kan.; Terry Tucker and Jeff of Pleasanton, Kan., and Linda Streeter and Andy of Parkville, Mo.; a brother-in-law, Frank Grosshart (Willard called him his "little brother"); grandchildren; John Staton and Amy of Lenexa, Kan.; Jerome Brown and Jill of Bonner Springs, Kan.; Jeremy Brown of Atchison, Kansas; Jerrett Brown and Tina of Lansing, Kan.; Joshua Brown of Atchison, Kan.; Branden Cox and Katie of Gardner, Kan. Christopher Cox of Independence, Kan.; Matt Bollinger and Malaina of Midland, Texas, and Amy Doubrava and Kurt of Miami, Okla., and 18 great-grandchildren.
Red was always just a phone call away, always ready with a helping hand and comforting word and always a story.
He leaves behind a "truckload" of memories for family and friends.
Services will be held at 11 a.m., , at the Schneider Funeral Home, Pleasanton Chapel, Pleasanton, Kan. Visitation will be from 1-3 p.m., Sunday, at the chapel. Contributions are suggested to the Willard Mitts Memorial Fund for Fort Scott Community College Trucking School.
Interment will be in the Pleasanton Cemetery. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.schneiderfunerals.com.
Arrangements are made by Schneider Funeral Home, Pleasanton, Kan.