1956 ~ 2023
Date of death: July 28, 2023
In profound sadness, the staff of Veasley Funeral Home & Cremations, Inc. want to express our sincere condolences to the Willingham Family. Grace's earthly temple is now resting in the care of Veasley Funeral Home. Revelations 21:4 says, "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death; nor sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away." Be assured that in the days ahead you will surely gain strength from the memories of Mother Grace Willingham.
Derrick Veasley ~ Director
Henry Veasley ~ Director
Pastor E.C. Maltbia ~ Chaplain
Grace Jeanette Beamon was born December 14, 1956, in Chicago, IL to Willie and Alean Beamon. She was the wide-eyed baby girl of the family spending time with her big sisters, little brother, and parents until the death of her mother at age 6. She loved her mother and that longing for her love remained throughout her life. During her childhood in Gary, Indiana, she spent time with her great-uncle, Robert and great-aunt Honey, on the small farms and loved playing with her friends. The family relocated to Chicago in 1964 and Grace began to spend her middle childhood summers with her uncle, Edward and aunt, Deloris in Schenectady, NY. Grace loved traveling with her dad on family trips, visiting her parents' families, and having fun with her cousins, other relatives, and friends.
Grace knew God, accepted Christ, and was baptized in 1969 at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, IL by Reverend James Bass. She was a member of the Angelic Choir during her time there. She enjoyed her extended family life with her new sisters and stepmom's family. Grace attended Harlan and Gage Park High Schools in Chicago. Grace was eager to have an independent life and started her first job at Sears & Robuck while attending High School. She loved life, family, and friends, always ready to dance, talk and laugh the night away in their company. Grace's responsibilities grew when she became a young mother working to provide a family home life for herself and her daughter. She relocated to Syracuse, NY where she gave birth to her second child, Martel Draper where she remained for a few years enjoying family life with her children.
Grace returned to Chicago mastering cosmetology and securing a future for her and her 2 children. She was a hard worker with many talents. Grace met and married her forever-love Leo Willingham Jr and continued growing her family with her last child's birth. Leo and Grace raised their family in Bolingbrook and relocated to Maumelle Arkansas with their jobs at Molex. Grace was a proud wife and mother settling down to southern life and spending quality time with her children and their families. She was thankful and enjoyed family, friends, and God's blessings.
Grace was a 2-time cancer survivor and was featured modeling in the Cancer Survivor Magazine which helped strengthen her fight for survival. She mentored others and looked forward to the Breast Cancer Walks and Ovarian Cancer Activities. She was able to educate her peers on healthy lifestyle living and made many friends during the process. Grace was a supportive member of Prayers On Winchester in Chicago. Auntie Grace loved her nieces, nephews, and their families. She enjoyed prayer visits and looked forward to spirit-lifting worship. Granny was proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren always looking forward to visits, gift-giving, and enjoying family quality time together. Grace loved traveling on vacation, visiting and socializing with family and friends until her health declined. Grace Willingham was the magnet of the family, always drawing known and unknown family members closer together.
Grace was preceded in death by her parents Willie and Alean Beamon, brother Willie Beamon Jr and stepmother Barbara Beamon. She leaves to cherish her loving memory her husband Leo Willingham Jr, 4 children, Laquita (Galen) Freeman, Martel Draper, Leo Willingham III, all of Conway Arkansas, ans Joey Gaston of Joliet, IL, 8 grandchildren DeShaun, Tyrice, Jaylen, Da'jon, Talia, Asher, Lea Grace, and Channing, 1 great-granddaughter Lily, 1 great-grandson Karter, 5 sisters Eva Beamon, Willean (Keith) Rose, Mary (Fred) Robinson, Jacqueline Simpson, and Dandedda Davis, mother-in-law Ruthie Mae Wiggins, 4 sisters-in-law, Shelia, Vicky, Mert, and Levett, a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, great-great
nieces and nephews, extended family, cousins, and other family, friends, goddaughter Selene, special niece Lutrice and special cousin Sam.