Bennett Willis Jr.


Friday, November 24, 2006 Bennett Willis Jr.

Bennett Willis Jr., 90, a retired Justice Department lawyer and director of  its Law
Enforcement Assistance Administration, died Nov. 16 at Inova Fairfax Hospital after a
heart attack.

Mr. Willis began his federal career in the early 1940s as an FBI special agent in
counterintelligence based in New York City. He joined the Justice Department in the
1950s as a trial lawyer and later was chief of the management office. He retired in the late
1970s. On one Justice Department assignment in the late 1950s, he chaired an
inter-agency committee on internal security that was part of the National Security Council.

In retirement, he briefly worked as a real estate agent in Northern Virginia. He also
submitted amusing anecdotes and published gaffes to newspapers and magazines.

Mr. Willis was born in New York and raised in Washington. He was a graduate of  
Western High School (1934) in the District and George Washington University's law

His memberships included the Fairfax County Crime Commission and the United World
Federalists, an organization advocating international cooperation. He was a former board
member of the Boys Clubs of Washington and a charter member of the World Peace
Through Law Center. He was a delegate to the law center's 1967 world conference in

Last year, he moved to the Greenspring Village retirement community in Springfield from
his longtime home in McLean.

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Jane Boland Willis of Springfield; and a son,
James B. Willis of McLean.