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Loretta (Willis) Rainey-Fones (#46838847)
 member for 9 years, 9 months, 19 days
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Bio Photo ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My interest in cemeteries goes back to my childhood, having my own pet cemetery and making crosses for each, made of lathes and old paint. That was many "Mr. Moons" ago, (since I have passed the 60 year mark.) I have two daughters, my first born in 1982, and the youngest, born in 1984, has given me four Grandsons, ages 13, 9, 2, and the last born Aug 2013. They live ten miles away. As a teenager I mowed Cannon Cemetery, Carroll County, Missouri, with a push mower, which has about 75 graves, and about three miles from our home. Beginning this job,circa 1966, I wasn't even old enough to drive yet, so my father and I would load up the mower in the back of his pickup. He would use hand clippers around the stones while I mowed. Our father was the best ever, and helped instill good work ethics in us three kids, starting at an early age. It was big money back then, $5.00 to mow the whole cemetery. By the time I gave up the job, some 7 or 8 years later, the pay had risen to $7.00. And gasoline was steady at 19 cents per gallon. Of which my father was kind enough not to charge me for, but let me know, that one day, it would become my own responsibility.

Those same work ethics were provided to me by our mother as well. My brother, six years older, and my sister, three years older, were both working at Bales' Orchard, a few miles west of our home. I was only 9 years old, but the manager, Elvin Elliott, told my mother "just leave her here too, and we'll keep her busy and see how it works out". I'm guessing it worked out, as I worked there every summer until after I graduated from high school. Our pay for picking strawberries was 3 cents per quart and I was always very proud to take the punched cards to Dr. Bales' office to 'cash in'. Looking back, I'm sure my mother spent more on my sacked lunch (we called it dinner in those days), those first couple of years of my 'employment', but she taught me the value of where the dimes came from. We worked for them. She, too, was a treasure to filling my life with lessons of love, values, respect, honesty, caring for others and earning our way. Same as our father taught us.

I accidentally came across FindaGrave while looking for famous interments. I mentioned it to my Sister, and upon her investigation, she discovered that local cemeteries were also listed. She right away started entering family interments, and it had just grown from there.

My daughters and my sister's family said that we were "ate up with it". Each person who has entered and left this world is special, and that life deserves to be recognized. We were quite addicted to exploring, documenting and "wandering and wondering." My sister and I made a trip in mid June, 2009, to attend a Willis reunion in Ellington, MO. Through a photo request of our paternal great grandparents, we connected up with a cousin that we didn't know we had.(Thanks Betty Radford). Through our works with Findagrave and by accepting the reunion invitation, we had the pleasure to meet other cousins. "Sis" and I also visited the graves of both sets of our paternal great grandparents graves, and were guided to the farm where our grandfather was born. We "cackled" the whole trip.

I believe that God gave us this time together, just the two of us, because very sadly, my sister, age 59 passed away suddenly 15 days after our trip. I would explain our sister/friend relationship as this "we were so close, you couldn't have put a flat toothpick between us." She was an amazing woman and I am humbled without her presence in my life.

I have posted a memorial for my beloved sister Linda Kathaleen (Willis) Stephenson.

December 20th 1946-January 20th 2014

Robert Allen "Bob" Willis

In loving memory of my dear brother. God only gave me one brother, turns out, you were the best, and all I ever needed. "Dumpy"

Please email with any corrections, and I am not opposed to transfer ownership to anyone wanting to post a full memorial. EACH DAY COUNTS!
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Messages left for Loretta (Willis... (138)[Leave Message]
Reba Chunn
Uellia Chunn
Thank you for the information on the family.

Reba Chunn
Added by Reba Chunn on Feb 12, 2016 5:43 PM
Linda Page Brownfield
Albinda Chunn grave
Thank you very much for the photo!
Added by Linda Page Brownfield on Feb 11, 2016 4:09 AM
RE: Daniel Hiram Richardson and Willis line
Thank you. Will probably add the death cert to document the February dates versus the tombstone January. It is a shame we often don't visit with our parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles about the family history until it is too late and they are gone. Of course, the info you get from them can often be misleading! Sometimes the family history stories don't match up with the facts. But, at least they point you in the right direction. I thoroughly enjoy the genealogy research-it is like working a puzzle. You take the pieces you have and try to figure out where to find the missing pieces. Along the way you learn a lot about history and your ancestors place in that history. Have enjoyed "visiting" with you. Again thanks for your efforts in documenting old burials/cemeteries! (Too bad our Willis' didn't match up.) Elaine
Added by Elaine on Feb 10, 2016 10:04 AM
Willis line
It registered after I sent the reply to your email RE: corrections to Daniel Hiram Richardson and other family members that your maiden name was Willis. Am wondering if we might be distant cousins by marriage. Hiram Richardson's mother was a Christmas. She had a brother, Leander Christmas, who married a Sarah Ellen Willis (1839 Pike Co, IN-1909 Carrollton, Carroll Co, MO). Sarah's brother Anderson Addison Willis (1837 Pike Co, IN-1897 Hale, Carroll, Missouri) married Leander and Martha Christmas' sister Eliza Jane Christmas (1834 Pike Co, IN-1916 Hale, Carroll, Missouri). Are Sarah and Anderson in your Willis family tree? Elaine
Added by Elaine on Feb 09, 2016 8:56 PM
RE: D. Richardson
Thank you for posting the burials! And adding the info. Find A Grave is a very useful free source for family info. The more complete the info the more helpful it is for anyone trying to track their family roots. Do you want me to post the death cert for Daniel Hiram? It comes in .pdf format off the MO SOS web site but I can do a Paper Port scan of it and save as a .jpg file. (Am wondering if Daniel's tombstone was done at a later date by descendants who weren't sure about the birth/death info and that is why the "January" was on it instead of February.) Let me know. Elaine
Added by Elaine on Feb 09, 2016 8:10 PM
Bonnie Shirley Amery
Photo Edgar Worth Pierce
Thank you for the great photos taken on one cold day at Oak Hill!

Making plans to be in Braymer this week. Would you have Thursday available, 2 pair of insulated coveralls, 3 wool head scarves, Artic rated gloves and camera? If so lets think about Old Pleasant Park Cemetery.

I'll check in with you on Wednesday.
Bonnie Jean
Added by Bonnie Shirley Amery on Feb 08, 2016 2:01 PM
RE: O. Ticknor
Thank you for the transfer!
Added by Belva on Feb 07, 2016 12:39 PM
RE: O. Ticknor
Thank you Loretta, that would be great. My husband would be so excited to see all the progress that has been done on his family. I appreciate all your hard work.
Added by Belva on Feb 06, 2016 12:00 PM
Carolina Grave Hunter

Thank you very much for taking the time to go to the cemetery, locate their headstones and upload the photos for me!

You are THE BEST!!!
Added by Carolina Grave Hunter on Feb 06, 2016 8:54 AM
Thank you
Thank you so much for posting photos of the graves of the Dieterich family! Your work is very much appreciated.

Added by SDaniels on Dec 28, 2015 5:11 PM
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