Edna Mae Wills

Edna Mae Wills

Edna Mae Wills, 97, of Arnett passed away Monday, March 8, 2010, at her home.

Born June 24, 1912, in Zada, she was the daughter of the late William Edward and Virginia Milem Wills. She was the last of the “Wills” children.

Edna graduated from Mount View High School in 1931 and attended Concord and Morris Harvey colleges to obtain a teaching degree.

Edna passed away very peacefully. She often wondered why God let her live so long, but she is with Him now. She had been very healthy, but had not been feeling well for about a week. This unique lady lived a wonderful life surrounded by family and loved ones.

She taught school for 42 years, spending the majority of her teaching career as a second-grade teacher at Mount View Elementary School. “Miss Wills” loved each and every one of her students as if they were her own and cherished their visits throughout her life.

Edna led a rather colorful life in her younger days. She was married four times, with three of the marriages being to the same man, Pauline Cook, who was the love of her life. She obtained her pilot's license during World War II. Through the years, Edna saw many changes. She grew up near Arnett on the family farm that had been settled in 1835 by her grandparents. When she was growing up, Route 3 had not been built and electricity was not available. She walked to school as a student and later as a teacher. She was a staunch Republican and was proud to brag that she had voted in every election since she was able to vote. Edna loved flowers and gardens and always looked forward to spring when the seed catalogs started arriving. Her favorite day was Groundhog Day because she knew spring was coming. She also loved to fish. Although we are very sad she has left us, we feel blessed we were allowed to keep her so long and that she remained healthy with a mind and memory surpassed by very few half her age.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Pauline Cook and Speed Mankin; five sisters, Estelle Wills, Ulla Sawyers, Nelle Snodgrass, Jess Pettry, and Sylvia Tabor; and three brothers, John, Ernest, and Joseph E. “Boy” Wills.

She is survived by a special niece, Kathy Honaker, who cared for her in her final years, and Kathy's husband, Gary; Joe Ed Wills, and his wife, Elizabeth; and a special sister-in-law, Roberta Wills Martin and her husband, Kenneth.

She is recognized as a second mother by Kathy and Joe, who are the children of her brother Joe “Boy” and his wife, Roberta.

Edna was a special Nana to Courtney, who is married to Matt Epling. She is also survived by many other nieces and nephews; and countless friends.

Edna deeply appreciated the thoughts and prayers from all her friends and family and was thankful that she had her niece, Patti Mamola, to help care for her in the last year. She also got great pleasure from visits from her special friend, Sandy Dillon Simmons.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 11, at Arnett Chapel, Arnett, with the Rev. Larry Kinder officiating and with singing by the Arnett Chapel Choir. Burial will be in the Wills family cemetery.

Friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Armstrong Funeral Home, Whitesville.
Contributed by Dan Harless