Mrs. Willa Maude Standley

May 7, 1929February 21, 2021
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CLAYTON – Willa Maude Chesshir Standley, age 91, passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 21, 2021.

Funeral services will be held 3:00 PM Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at Baptist Center Church with Pastor Ray Carr officiating. Due to covid 19 restrictions, face masks and social distancing will be required. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

The family will receive friends in the church fellowship hall immediately following the committal service.

She was born May 7, 1929 in Swink, Oklahoma to the late Ocie Chesshir and the late Effie McDougal. She was the oldest of three children, having been preceded in death by her sister Wanda Piercy and her husband of sixty years, Earl “Red” Standley. She graduated from Ft. Towson High School and Southeastern State Teacher’s College, University of Oklahoma at Durant. She began her teaching career in Oklahoma, taught at Loudoun County High School in Leesburg, Virginia, Lillington High School and retired from Johnston County Schools in 1989 after 35 years of teaching. She loved seeing and speaking with former students.

Willa was a recipient of the North Carolina Humanitarian Award. She was among the first Johnston County Teachers chosen to teach Freedom of Choice students. Willa helped restore the Waterford Baptist Meeting House, bringing it back into the Southern Baptist Convention after it was declared dead.

When her family moved to Clayton in 1961, they became members of Baptist Center Church, where she served as pianist, organist, Sunday school teacher, youth leader and deaconess. She was active with the Hardee Sisters Circle and stayed connected with her church friends as long as possible.

She loved her family dearly and is survived by her son Joe Standley and wife Kim; daughters, Ginny Huddleston and husband Harry, and Kay Johnson and husband Robin; seven grandchildren Sora and Shane Bridges, Chad and Carrie Johnson, Jody and Angela Standley, Joseph Standley, Andrew and Amanda Standley, Sandra Standley, Brad and Michelle Johnson; fourteen great grandchildren, Lauren and Levi Bridges, Chandler and Chase Coughlin, Caroline Johnson, Sam, Jack, Will, Luke and Ree Standley, Jakob Standley, Lila, Eli and Ella Standley; and one brother, Larry Chesshir and wife Mollie of Oklahoma.

In addition to her family, her greatest loves were God, church and the children she taught.

On line condolences may be made to the family at

Memorials may be made in Willa’s memory to Baptist Center Church.

McLaurin Funeral Home is honored to be assisting the Standley family.


  • Joe Standley (Kim), Son
  • Ginny Huddleston (Harry), Daughter
  • Kay Johnson (Robin), Daughter
  • Sora Bridges (Shane), Grandchild
  • Chad Johnson (Carrie), Grandchild
  • Jody Standley (Angela), Grandchild
  • Joseph Standley, Grandchild
  • Andrew Standley (Amanda), Grandchild
  • Sandra Standley, Granchild
  • Brad Johnson (Michelle), Grandchild
  • Lauren Bridges, Great Grandchild
  • Levi Bridges, Great Grandchild
  • Chandler Coughlin, Great Grandchild
  • Chase Coughlin, Great Grandchild
  • Caroline Johnson, Great Grandchild
  • Sam Standley, Great Grandchild
  • Jack Standley, Great Grandchild
  • Will Standley, Great Grandchild
  • Luke Standley, Great Grandchild
  • Ree Standley, Great Grandchild
  • Jakob Standley, Great Grandchild
  • Lila Standley, Great Grandchild
  • Eli Standley, Great Grandchild
  • Ella Standley, Great Grandchild
  • Larry Chesshir (Mollie), Brother
  • Ocie and Effie McDougal Chesshir, Parents (deceased)
  • Earl "Red" Standley, Husband (deceased)
  • Wanda Piercy, Sister (deceased)


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Mrs. Willa Maude Standley

have a memory or condolence to add?

David Lee

March 2, 2021

I had the privilege of having Mrs Standley as my third grade teacher around 1976 at Clayton Primary. She instilled in me a great love of learning and I have thought of her often over the years. My condolences to her family and loved ones.

Wanda Todd Strickland

February 28, 2021

To the family of Mrs. Wilma Standley...she was the sweetest, kindest lady I have ever met. She had a huge loving heart and she will be missed by many. We will miss her beautiful smile but she will be smiling down from Heaven because we know where Mrs. Wilma is without a doubt ..a sweet Angel...prayers for all of the family ✝️🙏

Syvonne Callahan

February 25, 2021

So sorry for your loss! Your mom was an awesome soul and wonderful teacher for my daughter. Praying for peace & comfort for your family for your days ahead!

Candy austin Sherrill

February 24, 2021

I always wanted Mrs. Standley for a teacher because she loved to sing with her class; however, I never got her. I did get the opportunity to teach alongside her and learn many things. She was a wonderful example of a dedicated steward of God, dedicated parent, and a teacher who loved all children. RIP Willa.
Candy Sherrill

Deborah Cooper Jones

February 24, 2021

Kim & Joe, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your mom. Mrs. Standley was a sweet lady. Prayers for you and your family during this time.

Teresa Pourron

February 23, 2021

My deepest sympathy to all the family. Mrs. Standley was a beautiful lady inside and out. Such a fine Christian lady and example as a school teacher, and leader in so many ways. You all were blessed with a fine mother. You are in my prayers as you continue this journey without her until you met again.

Beth Weaver

February 22, 2021

Kay, Jenny and families,
I am so sorry to hear of Mrs. Willa's passing. I'll always remember her sweet voice and beautiful smile. She was such a special lady that made a big impact on my life growing up.. May God Bless you all during this difficult time. You are in our prayers.

Beth Weaver Ingersoll

Frankie Medlin

February 22, 2021

Mrs Willa Standley was a fine lady that worked as a good team member when she taught at Clayton Primary School known now as West Clayton Elementary. She was an excellent teacher and a great friend to all of us that worked there with her.
My first memories I have of Mrs Willa was her playing the piano for family members to sing at our church Home Coming. Mr Red and the children sang and were very enjoyable. That has been many years ago. Later memories are our getting together as retirees to enjoy one another each month. Mrs Standley called me while my Mother was sick to ask me about finding help to come in at home to help out. She was very concerned about finding someone to help her. She did not want to be a burden on any of her children and wanted to remain independent as long as she could. She and I talked several times about this. She very much wanted to be able to get someone to stay with her so she wouldn't have to leave home. I pray she was able to live out her wishes.
To the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to include spouses, you had a wonderful Mother, Grandmother and friend. My prayers are for all of you as you all will miss her but know she is in her Eternal Home with Mr Red, Randy and Cheri. God has richly blessed all of you with Mrs Standley.