Frank D. Willis is the former Chief Judge of the Van Buren County Probate Court. He served in that role for 38.5 years, making him the longest standing judge in Michigan Probate Court history.
Frank Willis began his career as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Van Buren County. In just three years, he was appointed to Probate Judge by then Governor Miliken. Over the next 38 years, Judge Willis honored his position and tirelessly served his community, winning reelection every 6 years. During his tenure as Chief Judge, Judge Willis maintained a very efficient court. His court policies and systems are used as a model statewide for other probate courts to strive for.
During his tenure, Judge Willis found cost saving measures to help the county save up to $600,000 per year since 2004. At the same time, under his tenure, juvenile crime in Van Buren decreased by 50%. In 1981, Judge Willis appeared on the Phil Donahue Show to share information on adoptions. He was an instructor at MJI on the subject of Juvenile Code. Through his leadership, the Juvenile Department was recognized by DHS and SCAO for their innovative approach to place children in permanent homes. Judge Willis also received the “Hon. Robert E. Weiss Award for Excellence in Court Improvement.” Judge Willis has been an integral member of the court system and a leader in Van Buren County. He is an invaluable asset to Willis Law and brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge.
Frank Willis is the father of Managing Partners and Co-Founders, Michael and Shaun Willis, was born and raised in Marshall, Michigan and is a long-time resident of Paw Paw MI. He graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Business Administration and earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Florida. He and his wife, Roberta (Bobbi) Kelly Willis, are extremely involved in their community and their local church, have five children and thirteen grandchildren.