Margery Cohen Willis, 72, a teacher and business owner, died June 11 of cancer at her home in Chestnut Hill.

From 2008 until she became too ill to work, Dr. Willis taught English at Overbook High School, where she had been designated a National Board Certified Teacher and had won the Lindback Foundation Award for distinguished teaching.

Earlier, after receiving her bachelor’s degree in education from Temple University, she had taught at Simon Gratz High School. Then, after earning a doctorate in communications at Temple, she taught communications classes at the university from 1976 to 1987, when she interrupted her teaching career to open Ruth’s Lamps & Shades, a lighting fixtures store in Erdenheim. The business was named for her mother who worked in the shop until she was 99.

Dr. Willis was raised in the Wynnefield section of Philadelphia and graduated from Overbrook High School.

An avid reader, she also enjoyed tennis, golf, knitting, sewing and, for many years, spending summers on Long Beach Island in New Jersey.

She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Gerald C. Willis; sons Julian, Corey and Ethan; a daughter, Alison Douglas, and two grandchildren.

Funeral services were held June17 at Goldsteins’ Rosenberg’s Raphael Sacks in Philadelphia. Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society. – WF