Nov 29, 2022

John W. Willey, III

Posted Nov 29, 2022 12:25 PM

John W. Willey, III

John W. WIlley, III
John W. WIlley, III

John WIlley Obituary - Solomon, KS | Martin-Becker-Carlson Funeral Home (

 October 2nd, 1938 - November 26th, 2022

John Wesley Willey III, Topeka, KS, left this world to join his beloved wife on Saturday, November 26, 2022, at the age of 84. He was born October 2nd, 1938 in Solomon, KS, the only child to John Wesley Willey, Jr. and Henrietta M Wolfe.

A graduate of Solomon High School, he was united in marriage to the love of his life, Arlene P Haymond of Salina, KS on June 5, 1960. They lived in Solomon for 31 years and together welcomed three children: a son, John IV, and twin daughters, Linda and Brenda.

In 1990, John and Arlene moved to Abilene, KS. Sadly, Arlene passed away on Dec 2, 2002 and John moved to Topeka, KS shortly after this, where he resided with Mary Wright.

John began his lifelong career as a civil engineer with Wilson and Company Engineering and Architects, Salina, KS, at the age of 18. Notably, his first engineering assignment was the design and construction of I-70 at Abilene. Over the next four decades, he was involved in major infrastructure improvements in the mid- and southwest region of the U.S. and for the City of Abilene. In 1989 he was hired as Abilene’s City Engineer. He spent the next 12 years there before retiring in 2001. His most significant contribution was the construction of the first reverse osmosis municipal water treatment plant in the state of Kansas.

He was a Freemason and served as secretary of Solomon City Lodge for 25 years and was a former officer of the Grand Lodge of Kansas. Attending the annual Solomon lodge picnic each June with his family was one event he perpetually looked forward to.

He was a man of few words with a quiet, witty sense of humor. Incredibly wise and intelligent, he was the kind of person that when he spoke, everyone listened. Although he was quite stubborn and independent himself, he would drop everything to do anything for his loved ones.

An avid NASCAR fan, John often enjoyed a nap with the race playing in the background. His love for his various dogs and cats throughout his life was apparent, and anyone who knew him will always picture him in his wardrobe staples—cowboy boots and sweaters year-round.

John and Arlene were their grandchildren’s greatest fans, cheering at every sporting or musical event they were able to attend and taking them on countless day-trip vacations including tours of Big Brutus, old steam engines, airplanes, and fishing. He was known as the grandpa who believed in donuts and Oreo cookies for breakfast and he always had some kind of candy or cookie to bring each time he visited.

John was preceded in death by his wife, Arlene.

He leaves behind his son John (Jason) Willey IV, Topeka, KS; Linda (Joe) Duntz, Manhattan, KS; Brenda (Mike)Yamamoto, Colorado Springs, CO; five grandchildren: Dustin, Ashley, TJ, James, and Andrew; and six great-grandchildren.

Graveside services will be held at Prairie Mound Cemetery, Solomon, on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at 1:00 p.m.

Memorials may be made to the Masonic Lodge. Memorials may be mailed to Carlson-Becker Funeral Home, P.O. Box 308, Solomon, Kansas 67480.

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