Paso Robles News|Friday, March 1, 2024
You are here: Home » Obituaries » Willis Tarwater dies at 89
  • Follow Us!

Willis Tarwater dies at 89 

Willis Tarwater

Willis Tarwater

Willis “Will” Tarwater
Born: March 4, 1927
Died: Dec. 6, 2016

–Willis “Will” Tarwater passed away on December 6, 2016 at the VA Hospital in Prescott, Ariz.

Will was born in San Luis Obispo, Calif. and lived in Arroyo Grande, Calif. As a young man, he quit school at 16 and got a job at the Camp San Luis Army Base where he worked hard and became a 2nd Engineer. Just before his 18th birthday Will’s father signed so he could join the Navy. He enlisted on Dec. 7, 1944 in Bainbridge, MD. He was assigned to the gunner’s mate school. After graduation, Will was transferred to Boston, Mass. He volunteered for training to serve on PT boats. He was in the last PT Boat training class because the war had ended. He was discharged in August of 1946. After traveling for a while, Will moved back to Paso Robles. He began working at the Camp Roberts Fire Department.

In Oct. 1950, Will was recalled into the Navy as a result of the Korean War. He was assigned to the USS BROWN DD546, a destroyer. After being discharged, Will applied for a position at the Paso Robles Police Department. He was the first motorcycle patrolman on the force. Will began to apply for other positions and in July 1954 he was accepted for a position on the U. S. Border Patrol in El Paso, Texas. After training, Will was assigned to Brownsville, Texas where he worked until he was transferred to El Centro, Calif. While living in El Centro, his son, Ron was born. In December of 1959, Will started a new job at the Customs House in San Ysidro, Calif. Will liked this job very much and in 1969 he was assigned to the Customs House is Oakland, Calif. He retired from the Customs Department in 1977.

Will began to do some traveling and in May of 1980, Will decided to move to Prescott, Ariz. In 1983, Will met the most beautiful woman in the world, his beloved Margaret (Margi). They were married March 19, 1983 and spent 33 wonderful years together. Their love was true and eternal.

Will was a devout Christian and he touched people’s lives right to the end. He loved God, his family (especially his Margi), his country and guns.

He is survived by his beloved wife and sweetheart, Margaret; his son, Ron (Joanne) Tarwater; his brother Keith Tarwater and niece Kelly Tarwater Hall; his grandson Cole (Shauna) Tarwater; his stepsons Steve Culver, David (Amy) Culver; his stepdaughter Lori Culver; his step-grandchildren Stefanie Culver, Christa (Chris) Grau, Ben Culver, Garret Culver and Courtney Culver; and step-great-grandchildren Kaylee and Brenna Grau. He was preceded in death by his granddaughter Michelle Tarwater.

He was laid to rest on Dec. 10, 2016 at Heritage Memorial Park Cemetery with Military honors.

He was loved and he will be missed.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Heritage Memory Mortuary.



The Paso Robles Daily News publishes obituaries free of charge. To submit, click here. 

Share To Social Media


About the author: News Staff

The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at