Willie Levis Godbee

June 5, 1932March 31, 2019

Willie Levis Godbee, age 86, of Birmingham, Alabama passed away on Sunday March 31, 2019. Willie was born June 5, 1932. Death presents in different ways. In moments when it’s a shock and you never saw it coming it’s such an unfair injustice. But in those moments when a person has lived the best life that God could have given them, when they have reached an age and are in such a state of unrest that its uncomfortable for them to even breathe, at that point even though it hurts you know it may be what is best. We’re saying goodbye to a man who on his best day loved fiercely and with a passion. Willie Levis Godbee was born and raised in Cullman Alabama. He was the youngest of ten and would go on to serve in the Army in the Korean War before returning to Gadsden Al.

Our dad, or Paw Paw as he was known by his grandchildren, loved us all. That was never a question! He was this mountain of a man who made us feel safe. Willie Levis Godbee lived a life worth being proud of. From his time in the military to marrying the love of his life, Ilene, in 1951, and spending 48 years together, to raising two daughters Renee and Kim, he did everything well and with his whole heart.

He was a man who looked as comfortable with a Bible in his hand as a hammer that helped him build a construction company. In his last years he spent his Sundays at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church. He was also a long-time member at Gardendale First Baptist Church. He cherished the Gardendale community and the relationships he built there.

All his children and grandchildren agree that even in moments of discipline he showed love and in moments of fun he taught us how to live life with joy. Daughter Renee Johnson (husband Steve) and Kim Hand (husband Dennis), grandchildren Dallas Hand (wife Madison ), Dalton Hand, Sarah McKinney (husband Andrew), Nathan Johnson, Nicholas Johnson all remember the firm but amazing love he gave us and though we smile at the fact he isn’t in pain any longer, his smile is the one we will miss the rest of our lives. Paw Paw’s greatest joy at the end of his life was getting to see and hold his great grand babies, Silas Hand, Samuel Hand, Hayden McKinney and Kasalina McKinney; all who will, without a doubt, be raised hearing stories of this amazing man.

We miss you so much already, but we are comforted to know that at this very moment you are walking the golden streets, holding Grandma’s hand, and beholding the glory of Jesus now and forever more.

A celebration of life service for Willie will be held Monday, April 1, 2019 from 3:15 PM to 3:45 PM at Oakwood Memorial Gardens Mausoleum, 2100 Moncrief Rd, Gardendale, AL 35071. An entombment will occur at Oakwood Memorial Gardens, 2100 Moncrief Road, Gardendale, Alabama 35071.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Godbee family.


  • Celebration of Life Service Monday, April 1, 2019

Willie Levis Godbee

have a memory or condolence to add?

Melisa Luker Privett

April 2, 2019

On behalf of my family, Tommy and Sherry Godbee Luker (parents) and Jabron Luker (brother), we are so deeply saddened to hear that our dear cousin Levis has passed. We were not aware until today (4-2-19). We all loved Levis and Ilene so very much and we also rejoice, knowing they’ve had a beautiful meeting in Heaven. My brother and I ran into Levis in July of 2015 at The Summit...we had spent the weekend at Ross Bridge. We so enjoyed talking with him and he looked great! I took this pic to share with my parents. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Levis will be greatly missed.❤️

Rhonda Seymore-Ross

April 1, 2019

Renee and Kim, we are so sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed seeing your Dad at Decorations and when he and my Mom and Dad would get together. Good memories of when he and your Sweet Mom lived in Georgia too. I know he will be greatly missed by you all. Sending love hugs and prayers for you both and all his family and friends.
Rhonda and family