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Loretta (Willis) Rainey-Fones (#46838847)
 member for 10 years, 7 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... (143)[Leave Message]
Kathy Lin Eggleston
Mable Claire Singleton
I was going through some of my Aunt Bettie's things to put her family history together for her only son, when I happened upon Mable Claire Singleton! What a jewel! I remember Aunt Bettie telling me she didn't have a family because they all died off. In truth, she didn't know enough about her parents to find anything. She died in 2012. I know if she had known Mable was alive, she would have visited her!
Aunt Bettie's name was Dorothy Singleton and her father was George F Singleton, son of William L Singleton.
I noticed the tomb stones and wondered if Mable did them? Also, are their any pictures of the family or histories? Anywhere I can contact to find out?
This is where I found Mable and you:
Thanks so much!
Kathy Lin Eggleston
Added by Kathy Lin Eggleston on Apr 27, 2016 8:43 PM
Jan Miller
RE: Reuben & Lula Lewis
Thank you for your work. It is really appreciated.
Added by Jan Miller on Feb 29, 2016 3:08 PM
Jan Miller
Reuben & Lula Lewis

Are you related to Reuben & Lula Lewis or did you just take the tombstone picture and do the memorial page? My husband is William Lewis's grandson and if you are related I would like to compare information.

Jan Miller
Added by Jan Miller on Feb 28, 2016 9:36 AM
Pamela Groth
RE: Joe & Martha Mathias
You are welcome.
Added by Pamela Groth on Feb 25, 2016 12:27 PM
Bro. Maximilian Burkhart
RE: McQueen photo request
Oh Loretta that would be wonderful!!!! Thank you so very much, that means the world to me!! I am very close to my family and I am now seeing what my family in the past has left me!! Thank you and God bless you :-) +
Added by Bro. Maximilian Burkhart on Feb 16, 2016 8:55 PM
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
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