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Mary Willis

1938 ~ 2020

Date of Death: October 28, 2020


In profound sadness, the staff of Veasley Funeral Home & Cremations, Inc. want to express our sincere condolences to the Willis family. Mary’s earthly temple is now resting in the care of Rowell-Parish Mortuary. 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 Ms. Mary Willis.


Derrick Veasley ~ Director

Henry Veasley ~ Director

Pastor E.C. Maltbia ~ Chaplain


On Wednesday, October 28, 2020 God called Mary Frances Willis, 82 years young, loving wife and mother of six, to her eternal home totally healed from pain and suffering. Mary Frances was born on Wednesday, May 4, 1938 in Van Buren, Arkansas to Calvin and Edna Banks.

Mary Frances accepted the LORD Jesus Christ as her Savior at a young age at Greater Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church (GPR), Van Buren, Arkansas. She loved to be in service for the Lord. She was a member on the Usher Board and Mission Board at GPR. She participated in the Food Pantry serving the community. She was a member of the “Kitchen Crew,” where she cooked, served and cleaned until she was physically unable to perform the tasks. She faithfully worked for the Lord and walked with the LORD through the moment He took her to her eternal home.

Mary Frances had an incredible joy and passion for service to her community. For over 15 years, she worked at the Van Buren Head Start helping pre-kindergarten children develop and prepare for school. She volunteered for 45 years at the Crawford Memorial Hospital (now Baptist Health) working with visitors, patients and hospital employees. Not only did she love serving but she also loved giving. Mary Frances walked for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease; she helped military Veterans; and she contributed to many children’s organizations, heart associations and cancer organizations. She had the most generous heart and soul.

Mary Frances was married to her loving husband, Muriel Willis, Sr. for almost 65 years (November 9). They have six children: Mary Jane Welch (Nolen); Muriel Willis, Jr.; Lisa F. Willis; Shelia A. Willis; Mildred Stringer (Larry); and Margaret Christian. They have 10 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren. She also leaves behind two brothers, William Banks and Thomas Banks (Marilyn) and one sister, Gloria Jayne (Steve). She was preceded in death by her brother, Joe Banks and her parents, Calvin and Edna Banks. She also has many nieces and nephews and wonderful friends all over the country.

Mary Frances (Baby Sis, Sis, Sister, Mar Frances, Momma) will be greatly missed and she will live on in our hearts and minds. We have few words that can truly express the life of Mary Frances and all that she touched. But one thing we know for sure she would leave us with is this, “All you gotta do is live.”

Public walk through will be Monday, November 2, 2020 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Rowell-Parish Mortuary 611 North 9th Street Fort Smith, Arkansas 72901 | 479-782-9200.

Celebration of life service will be held Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Greater Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church 35 South 22nd Street Van Buren, Arkansas 72956.

Committal service and final resting place will be at the Fort Smith National Cemetery in Fort Smith, Arkansas.


Office: 501-358-6300
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