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Feb. 7, 1950-April 8, 2011

RALEIGH -- Willis Arthur Denmark III was born Feb. 7, 1950, to Willis Arthur Denmark II and Louise Bennette Denmark.

He grew up in Goldsboro, N.C., where he began playing golf under the tutelage of Al Goodrich.

After grad-uating from Goldsboro High School, he attended Florida State University, and played on the university golf team. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, and then obtained his class A certification as a PGA golf professional, while working an as an assistant golf professional at MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary, N.C., over a two-year period.

He then became the head golf professional at Duckwoods Golf Club, and lived at the outer banks of North Carolina for three years, after which he moved to Jamestown and served as the head golf professional and golf director at Jamestown Park Golf Course. During his 17 years at Jamestown Park, he founded the annual Charles Turner Junior Golf Tournament, which grew in popularity and attendance under his direction, having more than 200 junior golfers from more than 10 states attend the two-day event for many years.

While at Jamestown Park, his golf shop became one of the largest suppliers of golf equipment to the piedmont triad area.

In 1991 he received national recognition when he was awarded the PGA of America National Merchandiser of the Year.

However, he always considered his greatest reward at Jamestown to be the results of his mentoring many junior golfers, who were required to work around the course to earn his favor. He was most proud of the academic achievements of many of "his young men" and the number who are now PGA golf professionals, green superintendents and other leaders in the golf industry.

He later worked with Carolinas Golf Group at Oak Island and other locations, and during the last two years he served as general manager of Wildwood Green Golf Club in Raleigh, working once again with its owner and his longtime friend and mentor, Roger Watson.

Willis is survived by his wife, Kathleen E. Nix; daughter, Elizabeth Nix-Denmark; son, Jordan Nix-Denmark; grandchildren, Cristopher Jordan and Elyssa Jade Nix-Denmark all of High Point; his sisters and their husbands, Bennette and Ramon Lee of Raleigh and Patience and Rex Teaney of Chapel Hill, N.C.; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 10, in the chapel of Mitchell Funeral Home, 7209 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, N.C.

The family will receive friends prior to the service from 3 to 4 p.m.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.MitchellatRMp.com.


Published in Obituaries on April 11, 2011 1:48 PM