Cover photo for James G. Wills's Obituary
James G. Wills Profile Photo

James G. Wills

September 30, 1934 — February 6, 2023


James G. Wills


James G. Wills, 88, of Charleston, SC, died on Monday, February 6, 2023. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Phyllis Koller Wills whom he met on a blind date in New York City. According to Jim, "it was a miracle." They married at Trinity Church in Manhattan on March 21, 1970. His funeral service will be held Wednesday, March 15, 2023 in The Chapel at Bishop Gadsden, 1 Bishop Gadsden Way at 2:30 p.m. Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc.

Jim was born in Flint, MI, September 30, 1934, son of the late Ralph Thomas Wills and Marjorie G. Wills. He was a graduate of Flint Central High School (1952), the University of Michigan School of Literature, Science and Arts (BA 1955) and the University of Michigan Law School (JD 1958). While at the University of Michigan, Jim won a Hopwood Award for his writing. During his summer years in college and law school, Jim was co-editor and publisher of the Mackinac Island Town Crier, which he had founded with two college friends in 1954. It was later purchased by Wesley H. Maurer, Sr. and is still published today. 

Jim became a member of the Michigan bar in 1958 and the New York bar in 1964. After graduating from Law School, he served as a captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corp from 1958-1962. Jim was assigned to the Army General Counsel's Office where he was awarded a certificate of achievement for meritorious service. After leaving the Army, Jim joined the New York City law firm of Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer and Wood where he worked from 1962 to 1968. 

In 1968 Jim was employed by CPC International, Inc. as a lawyer, where he remained until he retired in 1992. At CPC he was Division Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for CPC Asia and Vice President Legal Counsel of CPC Europe. Jim moved within the company, living and working in Hong Kong, New Jersey and Brussels, Belgium. He was an avid history buff, and loved to write fiction most of his life. As a result of his time in Asia, Jim wrote three books set in Hong Kong and China. 

In their retirement, the couple moved to Kiawah Island in 1992 and lived there until 2017 when they moved into The Tides of Mt. Pleasant. After five years in Mt. Pleasant, they moved to Bishop Gadsden in January of 2023. Jim and Phyllis loved to summer in southwest France, where they maintained a second home for 31 years until they sold it in December of 2021. Jim enjoyed writing articles for the Charleston Mercury about their summers in France and travels in Europe.

In addition to his wife, Jim is survived by his two brothers-in-law: Edward John Koller, Jr. and Dennis Dickson Koller both of Edwards, CO; and nephew, Edward John Koller III, a student at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX. 

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Low Country Food Bank or your favorite charity. 


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Past Services

Funeral Service

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

2:30 - 3:30 pm (Eastern time)

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