Barbara Downum Willis, 80, of Beaufort, died Sunday, March 17, 2019 at her home.
Her funeral service will be held 11:00 AM on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at Ann Street United Methodist Church, Beaufort, with the pastor, Rev. Taylor Mills, officiating. Interment will immediately follow the service at Carteret Memorial Gardens.
Mrs. Willis was born on March 3, 1939, in Asheboro, NC to Edgar Wilfred “EW” and Nellie Chadwick Downum. At a very young age, she, with her family moved to Beaufort. Her vivacious personality earned her a position on the Cheerleading Squad, and while active at Beaufort High School, she was elected Homecoming Queen. Upon graduating, she married her high school sweetheart, Jimmy in August 1957. She worked for many years as a bank teller at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut and in Beaufort. She loved seeing her classmates over the years and enjoyed reminiscing with them. She was an active member of Ann Street United Methodist Church, where she sang in the choir and was in the bell choir for many years. Her love and care of her fellow man was evident in everything she did. She was a great neighbor. She was a caring and loving wife, mother and “Grami” to both her biological and a great many other children. She was never without a smile on her face. She was always ready for an adventure and traveled many miles to hear her daughter sing or attend a Pirate Adventure for her son. She was a practical creative thinker who came up with solutions that others did not see. One of her fondest memories was holding one of her grandchildren while watching the others play on the beach.
She is survived by her daughter, Gay Willis, and husband, George Marge, of Haworth, NJ; son, James “Todd” Willis, and his wife, Kimberly, of Virginia Beach, VA; brother, Paul Roberts Downum, of Murphy, Texas; 5 grandchildren, Dana Gay Willis Brown, and husband, Chris;
Harrison Kirk Willis, Gabriel James Marge, Cristopher Chadwick Marge, Kory Elizabeth Willis and a great grandson, Jackson Willis Brown and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family will receive friends from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Friday, March 22, 2019 at Brooks Funeral Home and Crematory.
In addition to her parents, Barbara is preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, James Dalton (Jimmy) Willis, and her brothers, Billy and David.