2012-08-09 / Front Page


Willie Mae Garnes, 65, died July 25, 2012.

She was born June 15, 1947. She was the daughter of the late Fannie Russell Thomas and Willie Thomas. She received her formal education in the Coffeeville school system, where she was a member of the cheerleader squad and the graduating Class of 1965.

She joined the Cedar Point Baptist Church in the West Bend community at an early age. She became a resident of Paterson, N.J. and was employed by the Wayne Manor Nursing Home for 15 years and Home Care Options for the last 32 years.

In the summer of 1980, she became a member of the Paterson Seventh Day Adventist Church. She loved God and her church and was deeply involved as a deaconess, a member of several choirs and a community service worker. Her most enjoyable duty was that of ushering, which she continued until the last day she attended service.

Friends and family remember her as a loving, caring, humble and gentle servant who always had a smile on her face and a song in her heart. She donated to many organizations, one in particular was the United Negro College Fund.

Survivors include three daughters, Frances Coates, Zimco, Lillian (Donald) Garnes, Paterson, Victoria (Jarvis) Hunt, Gainestown; five grandchildren, Hilary, Hishawn, Malcolm, Shamal and Jarvis Jr.; two great-granddaughters, Sariyah and Julnoly; sisters, Dorothy Thomas, West Bend, Margaret Sherrod, Stafford, Va., Pecola (Aubrey) Handy, Mansfield, La.; one brother, Cecil Thomas, West Bend; aunt, Earnestine Russell, Mt. Vernon; nephews, Randy (Brenda) Thomas and Erskin (Brenda) Sherrod; nieces, Beulah Thomas and Tia Handy; god-children, Lisa Rose-Broyles and Gary Wisdom; and a host of other relatives, friends and her church family.

Preceding her in death were her husband, Hilliard A. Garnes; three siblings, Obie, Willie July and Earnest; and son-in-law, Willie Earl Coates.

The service was Aug. 4 at Cedar Point Baptist Church in Coffeeville with Rev. James Chaney officiating. Burial was in the Cedar Point Baptist Church Cemetery.

Jackson Memorial Funeral Home directed.

Return to top