From a contemporary press report:
Deral E. Willis, 61, a retired Army Colonel and Vietnam veteran who for seven years, until 1997, worked for Senator Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.) as a legislative aide for national security issues, died of cancer June 4, 2000 at a hospital in New York.
Colonel Willis, a former Annandale resident, lived in New York and Annapolis with his wife, Nora Slatkin, former executive director of the CIA, whom he married 18 years ago.
A native of Foss, Oklahoma, he began his 30-year military career shortly after graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1961 with a degree in mathematics. He had two combat tours during the Vietnam War, with the 199th Separate Field Artillery Brigade in 1967 and the 101st Airborne Division in 1972.
He had assignments in Germany and Korea and later commanded the 319th Field Artillery Battalion and the 319th Division Artillery in the 82nd Airborne Division.
Before he retired from the Army in 1990 to join Hollings's staff, he was director of congressional relations for the Army Materiel Command.
He attended the Army Command and General Staff College and the National War College.
His first marriage, to Julia Cooper, ended in divorce.
In addition to his wife, survivors include three children from his first marriage, Nick Willis of Oklahoma City, Lisa Willis Wray of Glenn Dale, Md., and Kelly Willis Robison of Austin; a brother; and five granddaughters.
WILLIS, DERAL EUGENE (Age 61)
On June 4, 2000. Devoted husband of Nora Slatkin Willis. Beloved father of Nick, Lisa and Kelly. Loving grandfather of Allison, Emily and Sarah Willis and Ashley and Katie Wray. Cherished son of Esther Willis. Dear brother of Guye. Uncle of Mike and Mark Willis and Karl and Mike Osis. Son-in-law of Muriel Slatkin. Grandson-in-law of Anna Slatkin. Father-in-law of Shirley Willis, David Wray and Bruce Robison. Brother-in-law of Phyllis and Ellen Osis and Ivars Osis. Funeral service will be held Friday, June 9, 2 p.m. at The Old Post Chapel, Fort Myer, VA. Interment to follow at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to: ”Deral E. Willis Scholarship Fund”, Southwest State Bank c/o Deral Willis Scholarship Fund, PO Box 610, Sentinel, OK 73664 and/or to the ”Weill Medical College of Cornell University”, memo: Multiple Myeloma Fund in memory of Deral Willis, Weill Medical College, 525 E. 68th St., Box 123, New York, NY 10021, Attn: Clyde Jones.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard