Puckett Willis

Puckett Willis passed away peacefully on March 27, 2019 surrounded by his family. Puckett was preceded in death by his wife, Rose Parker Willis. He is survived by his daughters Susan Willis and Jennifer Buckley (Phant), and three grandchildren, Parker Fliedner, Sam Buckley IV and Matthew Buckley.

Puckett was born in Sikes, Louisiana on August 17, 1924, the son of Ernest Willis and Lena Puckett Willis. He attended Sikes High School, graduating in 1941. While there, he met Rose Willis, who became his high school sweetheart and later his wife. Rose and Puckett were married in 1952 and celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary prior to her death in 2018.

Puckett’s parents owned a country store, and he worked there from the time he was ten years old until he graduated from high school. Puckett was tasked with building a fire at the store every morning, and he trained his German shepherd, Shep, to carry a can of kerosene for him while they walked to the store. Puckett helped run the store after his father passed away in 1940, and later operated a sawmill in Caldwell Parish.

In 1947, Puckett was elected to the Louisiana Senate, where he served from 1948-1952. He was elected at the age of 23, to this day the youngest state senator ever elected in Louisiana.

Puckett founded Merchants Insurance Agency in 1950 and operated it on Main Street in Winnfield until he sold the business in 1986. He was also one of the founders of Winn State Bank (now Sabine State Bank) and later served as the chairman of its Board of Directors.

After his time in the Louisiana State Senate, Puckett continued to be actively engaged in politics and civic life. He served a number of years as the Mayor of the Village of Sikes and was a member, and later chairman, of the Winn Parish Democratic Committee.

Rose and Puckett were long-time member of the First Baptist Church in Winnfield and were devoted grandparents to their three grandchildren, Parker, Sam and Matt. ›

Funeral services for Mr. Willis were held at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 30, 2019, at First Baptist Church of Winnfield, with Reverend John Holland officiating. A private interment at the Sikes Cemetery followed.

In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Puckett can be made to the First Baptist Church of Winnfield (at P. O. Box 230, Winnfield, LA 70483), the Winn Parish food pantry and the Shriners’ Hospital for children, 3100 Samford Ave, Shreveport, LA 71103.

Friends may express messages of condolence to the family online by visiting www.southernfuneralhome.com.

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