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Loretta (Willis) Rainey-Fones (#46838847)
 member for 10 years, 4 months, 1 day
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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... (154)[Leave Message]
RE: Hugh Robinson
I would gladly take over maintenance of his memorial, He and Wilma were like an Aunt and Uncle to my sisters and I.. My family was in the Land title industry nd went to many title conventions together.

John Reppert
Added by micosay on Jul 14, 2016 11:27 AM
Ralph Williams
RE: I need more coffee
sorry to get back so late i dont go to this site offen to your question yes she was there were two boys and 4 girls
Added by Ralph Williams on Jun 05, 2016 8:01 PM
Bonnie Shirley Amery
RE: Barbara Ward Memorial# 100835343
Really looking forward to findagrave additions today and tomorrow.

Beautiful day here. Lit up the trash barrel before going to church.
Bonnie Jean
Added by Bonnie Shirley Amery on May 29, 2016 2:56 PM
Bonnie Shirley Amery
Barbara Ward Memorial# 100835343
This evening I added a headstone photo.
Bonnie Jean
Added by Bonnie Shirley Amery on May 28, 2016 8:20 PM
Sylvia Whaley
Daisy Heishman #33778409
Hi Loretta,
We have finished photographing the gravestones in Brunswick City Cemetery. We did not find a stone for Daisy. I will delete my memorial for Daisy, but will wait until you enter it in Evergreen Cemetery. If you would like to use any of the information I have feel free to do so.

Thanks for all you do on Find-A-Grave.
Added by Sylvia Whaley on May 21, 2016 10:02 AM
Robin Sellars
Hi Loretta. Thank you for making it easy to find my grandparents and dad all listed together. My question is how can I get my dad's brother transferred as my grandparents child and my dad's brother? The person that created my uncles page is no longer taking messages. My grand parents are Lowell Alvin O'Neal #138948053, Ruth Bertha Louise Mueller O'Neal # 138948253, my dad is Jerry Herman O'Neal # 119953134. The uncle I would like transferred is Teddy Dean O'Neal #9026384. Is there anything that can be done to unite them all together?
Added by Robin Sellars on May 18, 2016 5:34 PM
Carolyn (Smith) Szafran
RE: Ira Hoy
Hi Loretta, nice meeting you. Ira Hoy was my great uncle. He was married one time to Gertrude Alice Smith. They had three children, Austin, Alice and Laverne. Mary Singleton was his step-mother. Their stones have always been a puzzle to me. I think one side shows William Hoy and his wife Elizabeth and two of their children who both died, one when three years old and one when five years old. It then looks like his second wife Mary died so she was added on the other side, then his son Ira and Iraís wife Gertrude. I think Williamís other children died as adults and were not included on his stone. It is so interesting that you knew Austin, I wish I could have met him.
Added by Carolyn (Smith) Szafran on May 14, 2016 8:37 PM
Zane's Mom
RE: Transfer
You are more than welcome. I like the memorials to be with family or friends.
Have a wonderful week!
Cecilia (Zane's Mom)
Added by Zane's Mom on May 11, 2016 8:13 AM
Judy Llamas
Shannon photo
Thanks Loretta for explaining about the gravestone. Perhaps you or someone else will take a picture for Sallie. We're grateful for all the work you do on "Find A Grave"!
Added by Judy Llamas on May 08, 2016 6:29 AM
Carolyn (Smith) Szafran
Ira Hoy
Thank you for your quick edit to his memorial, I really appreciate it.
Added by Carolyn (Smith) Szafran on May 07, 2016 7:36 AM
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