Cover photo for Michael John Willis's Obituary
Michael John Willis Profile Photo
1975 Michael 2024

Michael John Willis

October 11, 1975 — January 10, 2024



Michael John Willis, age 48, passed away unexpectedly on January 10, 2024.  

He was born on October 11, 1975 in Sheboygan to Robert Willis and Betsy (Strang) Willis.  He attended North High School, and graduated in 1993.  He went on to attend UW Oshkosh; however, his love of movies brought him to Los Angeles, where he received his degree in Film from the Hollywood Film School in Los Angeles.  

Michael was passionate about music, and was a super fan of the J. Geils Band.  As his friend Nick would say, “He was the biggest non-septuagenarian fan of this band east of the Mississippi River, to the point that he owned a vintage guitar amplifier that was previously owned by Jerome Geils himself.”  He continued his love of film through writing musical scores for movies, and shared his talents with others by creating music and playing instruments in the many bands he was a member of, to include Buzzkill (founded by Michael at age 18), Loud Thing, The Bad Luck BBQ Blues Band, and the Pink Lipsticks. Notably, he was an accomplished piano player, and an amazing singer.  His talents extended to his role as a father, and he shared his love of sports, film and music with his children.  He loved being a father, and was an ever-present member of all the sports and dance events they were a part of.  He was also an animal lover, doting on his precious dog Sophie.  Most recently, he owned and operated a bar and restaurant, Legend Larry’s in Green Bay.  Amazingly, he found time to be a true, genuine and fiercely loyal friend and neighbor as well.  Michael was the type of friend that would be there no matter what, and was beloved in his community for his loyal, kind, and always funny personality. He will be missed terribly by his family and all the people he has touched throughout his brief but beautiful life.

Michael is survived by his children Estella and Oliver Willis, his parents Robert and Betsy Willis, his brothers Bob (Kim)Willis, Brad (Tony) Willis, and Bill Willis, and his friend Amber Willis. He is further survived by his nephews Dylan and Hunter Willis, as well as many relatives and friends. 

He is preceded in death by his grandparents Allen and Mary Helen Willis and Allen and Alice Strang.  

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2024 at 12:00 p.m, with Pastor Beth Petzke officiating. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at Ballhorn Chapels, 1201 N. 8th Street, Sheboygan.

Please visit our website at to share memories and offer condolences.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael John Willis, please visit our flower store.


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