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Loretta (Willis) Rainey-Fones (#46838847)
 member for 9 years, 7 months, 3 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... (127)[Leave Message]
Scott Reed
RE: Bernhard Steimle
Thank you for the kind words and for updating the memorial!
Added by Scott Reed on Nov 17, 2015 7:11 PM
Tracy Fowler Martin
RE: Julius Thomas
Please transfer my Uncle to me Julius Thomas 15878928

He was married to Nellie Calvert

thank you, so much Tracy
Added by Tracy Fowler Martin on Nov 14, 2015 10:23 AM
Ms Martie M
RE: Glendon Stephenson
I am happy to help; and appreciate your kind feedback.
Added by Ms Martie M on Nov 04, 2015 7:15 AM
Leslie (Bridges) Kohler
RE: Your parents
Hi, Loretta.

I have sent you a friend request on FaceBook. There, in the PM area, we will be more-easily able to have 'private' conversations (instead of further cluttering this website).

Added by Leslie (Bridges) Kohler on Oct 10, 2015 5:48 AM
Clinton Fry
Thank you for posting your grave photo.
Added by KSM on Oct 07, 2015 8:00 AM
RE: Russells in Oak Hill
Loretta, you are an angel! Won't be heading up there for another couple of weeks, but this is SO helpful. Thank you so much.
Added by KathyR on Sep 23, 2015 8:16 PM
RE: Ernest Barton Russell
Hi Loretta
I will be visiting Oak Hill Cemetery to see the Russell graves, but wonder how to find them in such a large place? Is there a map of plots?

Added by KathyR on Sep 23, 2015 6:32 PM
Frank Williams
GBS Campbell
Hello. Thank you for posting on here. GBS Campbell is my 3rd great grandfather.. My grandmother Letha Coates father was Berry Coates. My father is Frank W. Williams. Letha's son. Are you related to GBS Cambell?
Added by Frank Williams on Sep 13, 2015 3:36 PM
Rachel Hiles
Birtie James

I believe her dad was Charles Meeks James (explains the C.M) ( and mom Phoebe Ann (P.A.)

Charles' parents are my Great-Great-Great-Great Grandparents.

She has a profile on Family Search.

I can't wait to come see these folks!
Added by Rachel Hiles on Aug 11, 2015 10:45 PM
Bonnie Shirley Amery
RE: Nancy (Shirley) Myers #78352837
Glad to hear someone else is worn out from this summer. But, you REALLY have reasons to be pooped.

Re my email: "Eliza, Alonzo, John P. and Charles B. All were born in Carroll County, Missouri after their parents were married April 5, 1855."

All their names are in a John and Angeline (Thomas) Shirley Bible that I was loaned by John William Shirley Jr. Also, in the Bible is written the April 5, 1855 wedding date of their parents, Nancy (Shirley) Myers and John Howe Myers. I cannot locate any of them on findagrave or anywhere else except for Nancy (Shirley) Meyers #78352837. Please, add in Nancy's bio the wedding date and the children's names.
Bonnie Jean
Added by Bonnie Shirley Amery on Jul 31, 2015 6:12 AM
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