Mary Evelyn Estes Willis, 86
October 25, 1934 - December 28, 2020
AUBURN COMMUNITY – Mary Evelyn Estes Willis was born October 25, 1934 to the late Cecil Lee and Mary Ellen Estes. She met her Creator on Monday, December 28, 2020 from The Meadows in Fulton, MS. Evelyn is survived by her children Renée Willis, Rhonda Willis Pennington, Kristie Willis Webb (Dean), and Chad Willis (Susan). Grandmother loved her 7 grandchildren, Justin Webb, Savannah Tucker (Zac), John Levi Pennington (Kelsey), Ian Willis, Aaron Willis and Brittany Bateman; 3 great-grandchildren, Macie Evelyn “Evie” Webb and Mary Mariea Tucker, whom are her namesakes, and Trase Webb; her sister, Pat Yant, and sister-in-law, Bobby Estes; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Our mom lived life to the very fullest. Her legacy to our family can be described in 2 words: consistency and perseverance. Mom was consistent in every aspect of her life because that is how she, her brother Bud, and sister Pat, were raised – a clear example by their mother Mary Ellen, who raised them. From the love for her family, love for Christ and her church family, particularly her ladies class – to her work ethic in the school system or yard work, Mom was consistent and truly dependable. Married at 18 to another 18 year old kid, Billy Joe Willis, the two set out with very little to make it in this world and raised a family. Dad worked for Jack Johnson Tire Company and eventually got into the car business. Mom made her way as an educator with a private kindergarten and eventually working for 38 years for the Lee County School System. She taught thousands of children at Mooreville Schools while driving a bus countless miles to school functions or sporting events. Mom loved her Troopers and they loved her. She always wanted the very best for all children regardless of their background and they knew Mom was always in their corner for support. She made sure most all of them could water ski and attend Thursday Lake Day. She raised her children at the lake side and often under a boat dash board. The family would give anything to go back just once to a “picnic on the grounds” Lake Day with Aunt Bobby, Miss Rebecca Roberts, Aunt Mildred Pearce, and Kay and Randy Pearce and all of our Skyline and Mooreville family. We as children did not know it then but our childhood from here to Pickwick was amazing. Mom herself slalomed skied until she was 68 years old, when a tractor accident ended her activity. However, she continued well into her 80s with daughters Kristie and Rhonda and grandkids having Lake Day. We relish many memories of the things in Mother’s life and the influence she had on us to realize how consistent she was in everything she did. Her perseverance was evident when we lost our Dad in 1989, with both of them at the time being 53 years old. Mom went on to dedicate herself to God and family living 31 years after dad’s death. Her comment to us was “I loved him more than anything but I don’t want another one to train.” She spent the next 31 years of her life attending and supporting every event her grandchildren were involved in, always present and consistent. We most definitely want to reflect on Mother’s consistent love for Christ our Savior and dedication to his church – East Main Church of Christ and her private consistent study of His Word. She had the assurance of the hope we all can have when He comes again to gather Christians home. We are all familiar with Proverbs 31 where Solomon speaks of a godly woman being held above the value of pearls and raiment. Our mom was a Godly Christian Woman and if we only said nothing else, that most important is her message to her family- follow the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ- do not grow weary in well doing- stay consistent not only in just acknowledging Who Christ Is and hearers only, but doers and followers of Christ who will lead us home to reunite with our family once again. Our father has waited 33 years for our Mom and he waits no more. We love both of you.
A public graveside service will be held at 3 PM Today (Tue., December 29, 2020) in the Willis family plot at Gilvo Cemetery in Skyline with Minister Barry Kennedy officiating. Pallbearers will be Justin Webb, John Levi Pennignton, Ian Willis, Aaron Willis, Zac Tucker, and Savannah Tucker. Honorary Pallbearers will be the staff of Rehab Solutions.
Holland Funeral Directors is honored to be serving their friends. The family would like to thank the staff of The Meadows in Fulton for their love and care of our Mother. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Billy Joe and Evelyn Willis Scholarship Fund, c/o Renasant Bank, P. O. Box 709, Tupelo, MS 38801 or any branch.