George Lydall Willhoit, 76


A graveside service for George Lyndall Willhoit, 76, of Kansas City, will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at White Chapel Cemetery in Gladstone. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at McGilley Antioch Chapel, 3325 NE Vivion Road in Kansas City. Mr. Willhoit died peacefully at his home on Oct. 10.

He was born Nov. 28, 1944, in Brookline, Greene County, the son of Ozark County natives Ella Mae Sallee Willhoit and the Rev. Howard Willhoit. After graduating from Parkview High School in Springfield, he attended Southwest Missouri State College in Springfield, the Kansas City Art Institute and Master Artist Workshops with Carl Benders of Belgium and Robert Bateman of Canada. 

On March 10, 1983, he married Joyce Routh Olson. He worked as a metal finisher at Ford Motor Company and retired after 30 years. At the same time, he also exhibited his realistic wildlife paintings across the country. He created the cover for “On the Banks of Pine Creek,” a book published in 2017 by the Ozark County Historium about Ozark County pioneer settlers Elijah and Eliza Luna and their 17 children.  

He was a veteran of the Vietnam War and also served in the Air Force in Taiwan. He was involved in Ducks Unlimited, the National Turkey Federation and other art organizations. 

He is survived by Joyce Willhoit, his wife of 38 years; five sons, Travis Willhoit of Holt, Michael Willhoit and wife Tammy of Neosho, Aaron Willhoit and wife Sarah of Kansas City,  Shaun Olson and wife Joyce of Liberty, and Brian Olson and wife Stephanie of Kearney; seven grandchildren, Lincoln and Reagan Willhoit, Howard Willhoit and Marley Kennaley, Tyler Olson, and Emalie and Zachary Olson; and other extended family members and friends. 

He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Ellen Willhoit.

Memorial contributions may be made to Children’s Mercy Hospital or First General Baptist Church of Springfield. Condolences may expressed at

McGilley Antioch Funeral Home, Gladstone, directors. 

Ozark County Times

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