Ocean Beach 07

Betty Ann (Volkmer) Willis

November 9, 1930 ~ July 12, 2020 (age 89)

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Betty Ann (Volkmer) Willis Nov. 9, 1930 - July 12, 2020 Betty A. Willis, 89, of Edna, Texas passed away peacefully with Family by her side, Sunday, July 12, 2020 at her second home in Gloucester, N.C. A Walk-Through Viewing for family and friends will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.; followed by a Graveside Service at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, July 18, at Straits United Methodist Church, Gloucester, NC with Pastor David Jones officiating.

Miss Betty was a 1948 graduate of Edna High school.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Alice Volkmer of Edna, her sister Ruth Stephenson, brothers Warren and Frank (Chunky) Volkmer and her son, Giles W. (Chip) Willis, III.

Following high school Betty attended, Southwestern Bible College in Waxahachie, Texas.   She then took a full-time job with Humble Oil in Houston, TX.  That is was when at a chance meeting at Prince’s Drive-In she met then 2nd Lt.  Giles W. Willis, Jr., of the U. S. Air Force. Two months later they were engaged and then married at the First Baptist Church, Edna, TX. Betty embraced new life, as a Military wife as she embraced all things in life, with grace and compassion. During the couple’s first assignment in California, they welcomed their first child, Chriscelle, and a few years later while stationed at Cape Canaveral Florida, their son “Chip” was born.

Betty excelled as a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She brought joy and God’s love to every person who knew her and immersed herself in every task given to her. She enjoyed volunteering and as her husband’s Military career took their family to many stations across the country, she was always quickly welcomed as a vital member to the community, church or military organizations she served during her time there. Betty often helped console other young wives whose husbands died on missions.

After Colonel Willis’s  retirement  from the Air Force, he took on a new career teaching Engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX and later retired from Baylor University in Waco, TX. As a faculty wife Betty was a friend and enduring hostess to faculty staff, students and their families.

In the 1950s she began her lifelong association with the United Methodist Women.  She was a founding member to several UMW Chapters and was a district officer at other locations. Betty and Giles had a close relationship with the churches, pastors and their families in all of the places where they lived.

Music was a great love of hers, and she is remembered by many for her beautiful singing and as a magnificent pianist. For many years Betty served as a pianist for the Straits United Methodist Church. 

Following their retirement from teaching, the couple fulfilled their retirement dream, spending their summers at Giles’ family home in Gloucester, NC and their winters at  the home where Betty was born in Edna, TX.  In 2017, Betty suffered a stroke, limiting her trips to the home she loved in Edna, Texas.  She is loved by many and has friends and family in both communities. 

Giles and Betty were often known to stop whatever they were doing so they could have a dance together. One day they will be dancing together again on Heavens Dance Floor.

She leaves her husband of nearly 65 years, Colonel Giles W. Willis, Jr.; Daughter Chriscelle Willis; Daughter In-Law, Renee Cole Willis of San Antonio, TX; 7 Grandchildren and 10 Great Grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Straits Methodist Church Cemetery fund c/o Roger W. Whitehurst, 1351 Harkers Island Rd., Beaufort, NC  28516.

Condolences and life tributes may be sent to the family via www.noefs.net

Arrangements are by Noe Funeral Home in Beaufort, NC.  


July 18, 2020

1:30 PM to 2:00 PM
Straits United Methodist Church (Gloucester, NC)

Graveside Service
July 18, 2020

2:00 PM
Straits United Methodist Church (Gloucester, NC)

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