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Dortha Nell (Garner) Wills

12/25/1934 - 03/13/2022
Service Date: 03/26/2022
Service Time: 10:30 AM
Service Location: Bunker's Garden Chapel
Visitation Date: 03/26/2022
Visitation Time: 9:30 AM
Visitation Location: Bunker's Garden Chapel - 33 N. Centennial Way, Mesa, Arizona 85201
Interment: City of Mesa Cemetery

Those wishing to view the services online may do so at the following link:


Dortha Nell (Garner) Wills, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed away peacefully on March 13, 2022, in Chandler, Arizona. She was born on December 25, 1934, in McLoud, Oklahoma, to Thomas and Gertrude (Rowe) Garner. When she was eleven years old, her family which included her siblings: Tom, Jim, Norma Jean, Ralph (deceased), Patsy (deceased), and David, relocated to Mesa, Arizona. She attended Mesa Public Schools, which proudly led her to becoming a Jackrabbit at Mesa High. She was very delighted with the fact she obtained perfect attendance from fifth through ninth grades. During her formative years she faithfully attended First Baptist Church and demonstrated her lifelong devotion to God by living compassionately.

She married Leslie Howard Wills (deceased), the love of her life, on October 6, 1951, in Mesa, Arizona. Their love endured for more than five decades, raising their family in Scottsdale and Gilbert Arizona. They provided a home filled with unconditional love. Dortha and Leslie were devoted parents who lovingly raised seven children, Stanley Wills (deceased), Sandra (Rudy Tafoya), Sheryl (James Hayes), Debra (Greg Bullion) (both deceased), Katheryn (Ronald Lash), Tamera (David Cameron), and Doni Rae (Geoff Cadien).

Family was everything to Dortha! She truly cherished and enjoyed her seventeen grandchildren – April, Justin, Trudy, Crystle, Lisa, Matt, Jamie Renee, Travis, Brandon, Amy, Nicole, Dotti, Amber, Ryan, Leslie, Olivia, and Paige. Her favorite saying was “aren’t we so blessed” and the blessings continued to multiply with the addition of 28 great-grandchildren.

Such a fitting name, Dortha, which means “Gift of God”. Dortha was the salt of the earth with her gracious open acceptance of all personalities, her forgiving manner, and a kind love that touched everyone she met. Among many things Dortha will be remembered for her countless family Christmases at her home. The family has selected to celebrate Dortha’s life by honoring her love of Christmas. Please join us at Bunker Family Funerals Home 33 N. Centennial Way, Mesa on March 26, 2022, at 10:30 am for a tribute with an optional visitation at 9:30 am. Attire will be Christmas clothing and accessories. In lieu of flowers, please consider bringing an unwrapped child’s essential gift to the venue the day of the services. These gifts will be donated in Dortha’s name to “Helen’s Hope Chest”, https://helenshopechest.org/needs/, who provide basic needs to Arizona foster children and families who care for them. The Wills family would like to thank Sunrise of Chandler’s amazing caregivers who so gently provided a wonderful warm and caring daily home environment for our mom. We also would like to thank Aegis Hospice who sent Angels on earth to care for mom until she went to be with our dad in heaven.

Arrangements by Bunker’s Garden Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.


  • Richard & Christine Cameron

    We truly miss our wonderful Dorothea

  • Bless her heart such a loving lady… she always made even non family feel like family with lots of love .. RIP Love Always-Cheryl

  • Ronda Farris Slaton

    Who could not just love Aunt Dortha Nell! Always cheerful and always made you feel special when she talked to you! Her laughter filled the room and made everyone want to join in even if they didn’t know what she was laughing about! She made this world a happier place! Love all of you girls and you all are in my prayers!

  • Donna Schlegel Whitaker

    Aunt Dortha truly was a “Gift of God”. I don’t ever remember seeing her without that beautiful smile and her laughter really was contagious. She and my Uncle Leslie were so very special to me. I wish I could have seen them and my AZ cousins more often. They raised wonderful children who are such a good reflection of their love and devotion to each other and to God. I love you all!

  • Kathy (Howle) Goodlive

    I love this lady. A gift from god to my life. She was a huge influence in my childhood.

  • Dortha most gracious lady . Loved God,her family and life.We will all miss her. She was my friend.
    Blessings to all.

  • The Romer Family (Harold, Pat and Doreen)

    She was such a wonderful lady. She will be missed by all who knew her. Her legacy lives on with her wonderful family.

  • Hal & Evelyn mckenzie

    We have many great & cherished memories when we were neighbors on E. Elm Drive Scottsdale.
    Love & Hugs

  • Hal & Evelyn mckenzie

    We have many great & cherished memories of being neighbors on E. Elm Drive Scottsdale.
    Love & Hugs McKenzie Family

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