Miss Lillie Dale Willard, 97, of McMinnville, Tennessee, passed away Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020.
Born Dec. 14, 1922, in Cannon County, Tennessee, she was the daughter of the late William Augustus Willard and Gertrude Lewis Willard of the Auburntown community.
A 1941 graduate of Auburn High School, she attended Tennessee College for Women in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (1944-46), Union University in Jackson, Tennessee (1954-55), and Middle Tennessee State College in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (1955-56), receiving a Bachelor's of Science degree in Education from the latter in 1956.
A lifelong Baptist, Miss Willard worked as secretary for the Tennessee Baptist Children's Homes in Brentwood, Tennessee, and later as the receptionist for First Baptist Church in Humboldt, Tennessee.
Miss Willard began her career as an educator teaching at sixth grade at McCann School in Nashville. In 1957 she relocated to Tullahoma, Tennessee, where she served as an elementary school teacher and librarian for 29 years before retiring in 1986. She was a member of Alpha Delta Kappa (International Honorary Organization for Women Educators) and the Coffee County Retired Teachers Association.
While living in Tullahoma, she was a member of First Baptist Church, where she participated in the "Just Older Youths" program, served though the Care Ministry, as a Prayer Warrior and as a Sunday School teacher for the ladies' class.
Miss Willard was an avid traveler whose journeys took her to all 50 states of America and several foreign countries. Her adventures were eagerly and generously shared with her nieces and nephews.
A member of the Highland Rim Tennessee Ornithology Society, she was an ardent bird watcher and remained so until her passing. She loved them one and all.
Her thoughtfulness and generosity will be remembered by the many whose lives she touched, including thousands of students, family and friends. She placed great value in family and visited them whenever possible. She was keenly interested in family history and greatly enjoyed family reunions.
She is survived by brother, Frank (Katherine) Willard of Clarksville, Tennessee; sister Alberta Griffith of McMinnville, Tennessee; nieces Loretta Willard Chapman of Nashville, Tennessee, Carta Marie Willard Gaither of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Linda Willard Ammerman (Donald) of Orlando, Florida, Anita Griffith Haley (Richard) of McMinnville, Tennessee, and Alicia Griffith Bridges (Mark) of McMinnville, Tennessee; and nephews William Edward Nichols (Donna) of Woodbury, Tennessee, Danny Nichols (Claudia) of Pulaski, Tennessee, Jim Willard (Melony) of Clarksville, Tennessee, and Anthony Griffith of McMinnville, Tennessee, who provided her with loving and daily care during her life in McMinnville. She is survived also by many great nieces and nephews.
Visitation for Miss Lillie Dale Willard is set for 4-8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, and Tuesday, Jan. 7, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at High Funeral Home in McMinnville, Tennessee. Funeral services will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, with Bro. Herb Hester officiating. Interment will be in Donnell Cemetery, Auburntown, Tennessee.