Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Loretta (Willis) Rainey-Fones (#46838847)
 member for 10 years, 9 months, 29 days
[Add to MyFriends]
Bio and Links
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!
Leave Public Message
Contributions to
Find A Grave
 • 3,060 Memorials Added
 • 4,177 Memorials Managed
 • 5 Memorials/Week
 • 8,594 Photos
 • 11 Photo Requests
 • 468 Volunteer Photos Taken
 • 8,512 Virtual Flowers
 • 1 Virtual Cemetery
 • 3 Sponsorships
 • 39 Friends
Search Contributor's Records

First NameLast Name

Virtual Cemeteries
WWI Carroll County (41)
Find A Grave Friends
betty radford, Big Sur Baby, Bonnie Shirley ..., Bro. Maximilian..., Carol Brookover, Carolina Grave ..., cathy franklin, Charlene Birt R..., Cis4Chris, Cynthia, D. Goodboe, Deborah Myers, Diane M, Don Austin, ET, GraveHopper93, Heartsong, James Hart, Jerry, Jerry Coffman, [View all Find A Grave Friends...]
Messages left for Loretta (Willis... (82)[Leave Message]
Dolores J. Rush
Neva D. Thornhill
I just added Neva D.'s obituary to her memorial. Thought you might like to know. (172576289).
Added by Dolores J. Rush on Feb 09, 2017 2:48 PM
RE: Elizabeth Rigg
Thanks for updating! Have to ask, where did your Rainey family originate? My mother was a Rainey - well, sort of. Her grandfather was 5 years old when his mother married a Rainey and he was raised with that name. They were Scotch-Irish immigrants who first homesteaded in Liniere, Quebec, Canada.
Added by MsMarylb on Jan 30, 2017 8:00 PM
Donnie Adams
Emery Everett "Colonel" King
Could you please help me understand the discrepancy of the King name but everyone calling him a Stephenson. Thank you and God Bless
Added by Donnie Adams on Jan 30, 2017 3:02 PM
Dolores J. Rush
Neva D. Thornhill
Thank you for relaying the news of her death. I haven't heard anything from her family since then. Her husband, Melvin, is not in good health himself.
Added by Dolores J. Rush on Jan 08, 2017 9:52 PM
Beth Sharp
Use of photo
Thank you so much for the photos and information on Emma & Henry Chapline and Alvin Love's headstone. I really appreciated you taking the time to do this for me. Do I have your permission to use these photos and give you credit on my Ancestry account?
Added by Beth Sharp on Jan 04, 2017 5:43 AM
Gerald Oltman
Raymond Sims
Hello Loretta,Thank You Very Much for the Photos!!!

Added by Gerald Oltman on Jan 02, 2017 4:10 PM
Robert Ottmers
Tabitha Janes (MIles) Waters
Hi Loretta,

Happy New Year! And thanks for the marker photo for Tabitha. Hard to believe I missed that one while there, considering I took the one of her husband. I've changed the order on his as you've asked, as well.

Added by Robert Ottmers on Jan 01, 2017 8:02 AM
Carolina Grave Hunter
Lewis Franklin Brown
Thank you VERY MUCH for taking the time to go to the cemetery and take a picture of his headstone!

Also Thank YOU for all your hard work on this site!
Added by Carolina Grave Hunter on Dec 28, 2016 6:45 AM
Heather Cottrell
Thanks very much for the photos for Charles Edward and Charles Norman Tyhurst. It is much appreciated. They are distant family. Have a great New Year!

Added by Heather Cottrell on Dec 27, 2016 7:23 PM
Johnnie Lancaster
Thanks so much for the photos of Johnnie's final resting place. He was my great grandmother's maternal uncle.

On another note: Will you please let me know if you ever run across any very old Coleman burials in Carroll County? Thomas E and Mary A. Coleman were my ancestors. They "disappeared" after the 1870 census. Any information on place of burial would be much appreciated.

Thanks again,
Added by Annita on Dec 27, 2016 7:33 AM
[View all messages...]

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service