The Life and Legacy of Willie E. Artis
Willie E. Artis, Jr. (aka Bird) was born on January 1, 1957 and transitioned into His New Life of Joy and Peace on Sunday, February 19, 2023 at the age of 66 in the comfort of home with his loving daughter at his side.
Wilie attended Smithfield High School and found employment in his early years with the Newport news Shipbuilding- Huntington Ingalls Industries as a Rigger, where he was responsible for maintaining and dismantling various types of scaffolding throughout the shipyard for 15 years. After which he became a free spirit and fulfilled his life’s passion working in the automobile industry at various locations throughout the peninsula and Hampton Roads area until his retirement. Affectionately known to those he loved as having a gracious heart and generous spirit, accepting them for who they were, never judging and supporting whatever path they chose in life. More than anything he loved taking care of animals and regretted not attending veterinary school. He also enjoyed playing basketball, building model cares, riding motorcycles, cooking his favorite foods and could always be found with a country ham sandwich in his hand.
Willie was preceded in death by his parents Willie E. and Florine M. Artis. He is survived by his daughter Shanell Johnson, Smithfield, VA, his grandson Tony Stephenson, Newport News, VA; his brother Larry A. Artis(Angela), Smithfield, VA; Two sisters; Florinda E. Riddick (Arthur) Newport News, VA and Agnes L. Artis, Carrollton, VA; his god sister, Terri Williams, Surry, VA; his aunt, Audrey Artis, Newport News, VA and two uncles; George Wrenn and Edgar Newby, Smithfield, VA and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held 11am Wednesday, March 1,2023 at Shivers Funeral Chapel. Viewing will take place Tuesday, February 28, 2023 from 3-6pm at the chapel.
Please keep the Artis family in your prayers.