©This website and contents, copyright, 2007, by John Lynch
Who's Who of Crow Creek Valley
Annie Laura Willis (Prince)
First Name: Annie
Middle Name: Laura
Born: August 18, 1921
Died: January 9, 2007
Burial: Greenwood Cemetery , Chattanooga , Tennessee
Place of birth: Sherwood , Tennessee
Last place of residence: Warner Robins , Georgia ; lived with younger daughter and husband – Floyd & Pat McKeel
Mother:Laura Mae (nee Garner) Willis
Father:James Wood Willis (Big Jim)(Cousin Jim)
Spouse: Laymon Francis Prince (born: in Decherd, TN-related to Prince’s (Nathan, Ed, Colonel, Major, Nancy, etc) who lived in Sherwood!); also lived with younger daughter and her husband (Floyd & Pat McKeel in Warner Robins until his death, October 30, 2006 )
Children:2 children still living
Other information: Like her Mother and Father, Annie Laura could do anything she set her mind to. She was a terrific cook, seamstress, hostess and homemaker – obsessive compulsive about cleanliness -Daddy used to say they had 3 children but she wore one out washing it! Ha Ha! She loved to visit her aunts and uncles. She raised us going to visit our relatives and instilled in us the importance of caring for your elders. She was well loved by her relatives.
She knew every date of any special occasion, trip, visit, address, phone number, birthday and anniversary of her family, neighbors, church Sunday school class members, etc. Her memory was phenomenal! She knew the date she arrived and departed on all the trips she and Daddy took and remembered the date of every city and castle, etc we visited during the 3 trips they made overseas to travel with us in the 1970’s.
She entertained all hers and Daddy’s relatives – sometimes for an afternoon, often for a week or more and sometimes for a month and once for 6 months. You always received the royal treatment to see the surrounding sights in and around Chattanooga as well as the best home cooked 3 meals a day and she did your laundry or anything else you needed, etc. You had the royal treatment when you went to her house.
Mother had Alzheimers, as did one of her aunts. She was bed bound with a catheter and never moved on her own the last 7 months of her life. She had loving care and never wanted for anything. It was our pleasure to show her the best care possible.
It was so sad to think she didn’t know her husband and thought he had deserted her. He was there through every day and night until his death. He grieved himself to death watching her decline and he wasn’t able to understand the things she would say and do. He passed away October 30 and she followed him in death January 9th. They both passed easily without a struggle. They just took one breath and then before the next one – they were in heaven. We had prayed she would be able to eat and not lose her swallowing ability and God blessed. I fed her an hour before she just relaxed her way to heaven.
Mother loved her parents, was a loyal, faithful and hardworking wife and great Mother. She made the “heel tow the mark” with us growing up and together she and Daddy raised two good girls that never gave them any trouble! (to speak of!!!)
She was so pretty. She had the most beautiful skin. She was so sweet and easy to care for. She loved to chew chewing gum and would light up when we came into her room. I always told her her hair was pretty, her skin and teeth were so pretty and how pretty she looked in her gowns,etc. It was so important to her and she thanked us each time. She was very gracious, even though a little embarrassed! Her caregiver who bathed her always treated her so sweet and she loved her and would eat more for her than for any of us.
She knew her manners and always thanked her caregivers for every little thing done for her. They say with Alzheimers - the true personality comes out. We know from experience that she is the sweetest person we’ve ever had the opportunity to know! Her Hospice team went through the grief process with us when she passed away.
I only wish I had known her when she was growing up. I know she was a precious little girl growing up in Sherwood. I always told her how very precious she was to me. Her last sound was after I told her how very much I loved her and she answered “la” for “I love you”. That is the most precious sound I’ve ever had the privilege to hear. Also she loved babysitting for Ann Barnes Pearson. Ann and Mother’s cousin, Nilmah Trowbridge Cook were the last 2 people she remembered.
I know she must have loved her dolls because of the way she loved the doll I let her use. I let her “borrow” the baby doll she had given me the Christmas after her Mother, Laura Willis passed away just after Thanksgiving in 1961 when I was 11. She rocked and checked on her baby all the time. We took it with us to keep her calm when we went to the doctor, etc. She put pillows, blankets and hats on her baby’s head to keep her warm. Daddy would tell her not to wake the baby and get it crying all night! Ha Ha!
I have great memories and hope you, too, remember our bonnie Annie Laura!