She was born in Appalachia, Virginia in 1928 where she was raised and attended school. In high school she met the love on her life, John Robert Willingham. Their love story spanned 67 years. They moved to Kingsport, Tennessee in 1961. She was a working Mom with first, Summers Lyle Construction, and later Howard and Steve Hyatt Construction. Louise and John R. were avid western square dancers and made many wonderful friends through that and their many lake activities. They also cooked for many years with Meals on Wheels. She loved her church, Wheeler United Methodist where she taught Sunday School, sang in the choir and took part in activities for many years. She was known for having a warm smile and kind word for everyone, and loved calling people on their birthdays.
Francis was Preceded in death by her parents, J.C. and Martha Jane Wells; sisters, Marie Callahan, Pauline Fields, and Estella Gabrial as well as brothers, C. Ray, Ralph, and Roy; most recently, her loving husband, John Robert Willingham. She is survived by daughter, Jane Leigh Hawkins and husband, John along with granddaughters Julia and Jillian; her son, Dennis C. Willingham and wife, Wanda along with special nieces, Judith Lee Seal and husband, Wayne, Joan Lyons and husband, Jim, and Janice Mays. The family would like to give a loving thanks to Nurse Janet Atwell, Dr. Megan Long, and Dr. Ronald Blackmore, and Paula Garland who all took great care and loved our Mom.
A celebration of her Life will be held at Wheeler UMC at 211 N. Sanders St., Blountville, TN at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 19th. The family will receive friends at the church from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 19th or friends may also call anytime at her residence.
In lieu flowers please give donations to Wheeler UMC at the above address in her memory. You can send an online condolence to the family by visiting www.cartertrent.com.
Carter-Trent Funeral Home, downtown Kingsport, is serving the Willingham family.