John Joseph Willoughby, age 85, 915 Mt. Zion Drive, Danville, peacefully ended his life's journey at his home at 8:07 a.m., Thursday, April 26, 2012.
Born on December 21, 1926 in Shamokin, he was a son of the late Joseph Aloysious and Lottie Mae (Moyer) Willoughby.
John was a graduate of Danville High School, Class of 1944, where he played football. He lived on a farm in Rush Township (Danville) with his family until his induction into the U. S. Army. He attained the rank of Corporal while serving with the 796th Military Police Battalion of the 36th Infantry Division, stationed at the Headquarters in Vienna, Austria, serving at the end of World War II.
After his discharge from the Army, he worked as a self -employed poultry farmer. He began working at the Cherokee Plant of Merck, Sharp & Dohme, Riverside, in 1952 and retired from there 37 years later in 1989.
John was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church; American Legion Post 40; a life member of Moose Lodge 1133 and Washington Fire Co. #2, all of Danville.
During his lifetime, John enjoyed country and western music, telling stories, bowling, hunting, playing the guitar, roller skating and dancing in his early years and more recently boarding horses and fostering rescue dogs. He also was a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
Surviving are his wife, the former Michele Heimbach, with whom he celebrated his 20th wedding anniversary on Sept. 28, 2011 and daughters, Alison and Alyssa Willoughby, at home. He is also survived by two children from his previous marriage, Elaine Saul, Riverside and Jeff Willoughby, and his wife Rebecca (Lynn), Danville; a former daughter-in-law, Joyce (Ford) Willoughby; five grandchildren: Cortney Willoughby, and his wife Amy (Graham); Derek Willoughby, and his wife Jamie (Badman); Ashley Willoughby; David Saul; and Kelly (Saul), wife of Rob Bromwell.
There are also four great-grandchildren: Madalynn, Delaney, Mollie and Samantha; a sister, Florence Quinton, Reading and nieces, nephews and cousins in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
John was preceded in death by a grandson, Nathan Jeffrey Willoughby; two brothers: Albert and Joseph Willoughby; and two sisters: Mary and Margaret Willoughby.
Friends and relatives may call on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, from 6-8 p. m. at the Roat-Kriner Funeral Home, 1715 Bloom Road, Danville and also on Thursday from 9:30 to 10:30 a. m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a. m. Thursday, May 3, 2012, at St. Cyril’s Basilica, Railroad St., Danville, by the Rev. Steven W. Fauser. Military honors will be performed by the honor guard of American Legion Post 40. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to either the American Heart Association, 1704 Warren Ave., Williamsport, PA 17701 or Haven to Home ( a dog rescue organization); c/o Laurie Allison, 625 Hillside Ave., Berwick, PA 18603.