Thursday, October 10, 2019

Pauline Anna Marie (Sander) Willis (September 30, 2019)

Pauline Anna Marie (Sander) Willis peacefully met her Lord and Savior on September 30, 2019 at the age of 101 years and three days. Pauline was a lifelong member of Saint John Lutheran Church. She lived her entire life in Darke County, most recently as a resident of the Brethren Retirement Community.

She was preceded in death parents, Fred and Minnie (Grote) Sander; her husband of 53 years, C. Emerson Willis (d.1992) ; her oldest son and his wife, Don and Patricia Willis; brothers Lester Sander and Richard Sander and sister-in-law Doris Sander.

She is survived by a sister, Thelma Beisner-Marker, and brother Duane Sander, both of Greenville; son Ken (Cathy) Willis of Troy, Ohio; and daughter Patty (Tom) Barnes of Eaton Ohio; seven grandchildren and fourteen great-grandchildren, sisters-in-law Edna Sander and Jean Sander as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Pauline was a gentle soul with a sense of humor and an infectious laugh, but above all, she was a caregiver her entire life. She lived a life of service to her family and others. She dropped out of school after the eighth grade to help her mother on the family farm. She married Emerson and during the Second World War she commuted to NCR in Dayton and worked as a final assembler and inspector of bomb sights. When Emerson became a Marine and was fighting in the Pacific, she and her son moved back to her parent’s farm.

Following the war Pauline settled on a small farm west of Greenville to raise her growing family. She was active the Farm Bureau and her children’s activities. She worked for a time as a caregiver at the Rest Haven Care Facility before leaving to help her husband run the Willis 502 Market.

Her creative energies were manifested in a lifelong love of sewing that resulted in many items of clothing and approximately 3,000 quilts which found their way not only to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but also to missions all over the world via Lutheran Social Services.

Pauline was an independent spirit into her final years. She could cook, paint, tend to her flower gardens, lay carpet and upholster furniture. She drove a car well into her nineties and managed her own finances. Despite her loss of mobility in later years, she found ways to live in and maintain her home. It is her selfless giving that will be remembered by those who knew her.

Visitation and viewing will be at the Saint John Lutheran Church 7418 State Route 121-N. Greenville, Ohio from 9:30 to 11:00 am on Saturday, October 5, 2019 followed by a funeral service with Pastor Brian McGee officiating. Burial will follow in the St. John Church Cemetery.

It is the wishes of the family that Memorial Contributions be given to the St. John Lutheran Church of Greenville.

Funeral arrangements by Zechar Bailey Funeral Home Greenville, Ohio.

Condolences for the family may be sent to