Cover photo for Willard Worley's Obituary
Willard Worley Profile Photo
1938 Willard 2022

Willard Worley

November 15, 1938 — March 7, 2022


Swannanoa - Willard Burnett Worley, 83, passed away on Monday, March 7, 2022, at the Charles George Veterans Medical Center in Asheville.

Born November 15, 1938, in Haywood County, North Carolina, Willard was a son of the late Clifford Madison Worley and Artha Gentry Worley.  In addition to his parents, Willard was also predeceased by his sister, Judy Pate

Willard, a winning pitcher for his Canton Little League team, joined the Navy at 17 years old after finally convincing his father to give consent. He served on three aircraft carriers: The Independence, The Forrestal, and the JFK. Those assignments took him to the Philippines, the Mediterranean during the Six Day War in 1967, and Spain in 1969, to name a few. Having served for 21 years, Willard was honorably discharged in 1972.

Surviving him are a daughter, Susan Littlefield (James) of Greensboro, NC; two sisters Ruth Payne (Glen) and Sarah Phillips (Dennis) both of Candler, NC; brother-in-law George Pate; two nephews Jeff Payne (Becky) of Raleigh, NC, and Terry Pate of Black Mountain; two nieces Janet Lyles and Tamra (Darren) Gilbert, both of Swannanoa, NC; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, 2022 at Bon-A-Venture Cemetery in Canton with the Reverend Roger Smith officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the caring people at Hospice Fund, Charles George VAMC, 1100 Tunnel Road, Asheville, NC 28805.

The care of Mr. Worley has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes of Canton and an online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at

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

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Bon-A-Venture Cemetery, Canton

2063 Newfound Rd, Canton, NC 28716

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