KEY WEST, Iowa — Kellen David Willis, 15, of Key West, IA, passed away on May 13, 2021 at home.

Mass of Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at St. Joseph The Worker Catholic Church with Rev. Rodney Allers officiating. Committal prayers will follow at Mount Olivet Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, 2595 Rockdale Road. If you are unable to attend, a live stream of the funeral mass will be on the funeral home Facebook page.

Kellen was born on August 19, 2005, in Dubuque, Iowa, the son of Timothy and Tracy (Lutgen) Willis. He was a Sophomore at Dubuque Senior High School and was a member of St. Joseph Key West Church, where he was in the Faith Formation Group.

Son, we never thought we would have to write this so soon... You had your whole life ahead of you. So many things in life that you loved and were looking forward to. You made us so PROUD! You will forever be our compassionate, thoughtful and loving son. You may have started your youth out on a soccer pitch surrounded by so many close friends but eventually, through one persuasive conversation with Joe Connolly, you would find your “true passion” in life in wrestling. You would spend the majority of your days becoming a better man through exercise, weightlifting and diet in hopes of becoming a better wrestler. The mental fortitude you acquired to be the best you could be was your strength and true determination.

Your faith, family and friends were what you treasured most; working with Papa, evenings with Grandpa, hiking God’s Country with Dad and the boys, along with powerlifting and wrestling with your buddies.

As your mom... I would always ask you, “who loves you most?” and you would say, God does, but you and dad are a close second. Be with Jesus now buddy but know those who are left behind are eagerly waiting for the day that we can all be together again. We love you the MOST!!!

Kellen is survived by his parents, Tim and Tracy Willis; his sister, Victoria Willis; grandparents, Dave and Ellen Willis, and Jim and Sheryl Lutgen; aunts and uncles: Chris and Dana Whitehill, Val and Mark O’Brien, Luc and Sarah Willis, Jennifer and Andrew Friedel, Allie and Gio Hayes, Stacey and Jason Taylor; he is also survived by many treasured cousins.

He was preceded in death by his grandmother, Carol (Tranel) Lutgen, and other beloved family members.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Dubuque Senior Wrestling and Soccer programs. Online condolences may be left at

Our family would like to sincerely thank Key West Fire and EMS, Dubuque County Sheriff Dept. and Medical Examiner Dept., Fr. Rod Allers, Dr. Dan Johnson and staff at Dubuque Senior High School, The Leonard Family and countless family, friends and strangers who have reached out, offering hugs and so many prayers for our family and our son. We are truly blessed and forever thankful for each and every one of you.

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