Mrs. Willene Rickert

June 21, 1925October 13, 2018
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Willene Evans Rickert, age 93, passed away October 13, 2018 at Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge Hospital in Columbia, SC. Her parents were Willie Woods Evans and Lena Brantley Evans of Screven County Georgia. Willene was a member of Sylvania First Baptist church and of the Virginia Sunday School Class. For many years she was an active member of Women’s Missionary Union, working with different age groups, including children through adults.

There were fond memories of growing up on the family farm near Newington, Georgia. Willene graduated from Newington High School and was valedictorian of her class. Afterwards she became a student at Bessie Tift College in Forsyth, Georgia. On the evening of her graduation from college she received the alumni award for Most Outstanding Creative Work of the Year. She believed that gifts and talents have been bestowed on different ones by the Heavenly Father and that these should be used not only for our benefit and enjoyment, but especially to bring honor and glory to God who gave them and to be a blessing to others.

While a college student Willene met her future husband, Harold Russel Rickert, who was serving in the US Army during WWII and stationed for awhile at Camp Wheeler in Macon, Georgia. Harold was from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was while at Camp Wheeler that a group of soldiers and their chaplain visited the college on a special occasion. Harold was later sent to Swindon, England and served as a Chaplain Assistant in the Army. After the war, Harold return to the states and continued his education and preparation for the Baptist ministry. He and Willene were married in her home church, North Newington Baptist, July 27, 1947, and were married for almost 59 years.

After graduating from college Willene was a high school English teacher at Baxley, Georgia and Waynesboro, Georgia. She was later a piano teacher at Yatesville High School. She continued to teach piano students throughout the years and was pianist or organist for a number of churches.

Willene loved her home and family. She enjoyed celebrating special occasions and visiting new and interesting places with them. On occasion when they could visit Philadelphia and other places where members of the Rickert family lived, they always received a cordial welcome. Another interesting experience was taking in the World’s Fair when it met in New York City. Willene enjoyed the short trips the family could take in the summertime to the beautiful and refreshing mountains of North Carolina. These and other trips were enjoyable and good learning experiences as well.

She was preceded in death by her parents Willie Wood and Lena Brantley Evans as well as her husband Harold Russel Rickert.

She is survived by her daughter, Merrilyn Rickert Sease, her grandchildren Angela (Zebulon) Reid and Russel (Jaclyn) Sease; great-grandchildren Zoe and Zarek Reid and Jackson, Elon and Gordon Sease, her sister Mary Wilma Wells and nieces Margo Metts and Lynn Sheppard.

Funeral services will be held at Dunbar Funeral Home Chapel located at 7600 Woodrow St, Irmo, South Carolina 29063 on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 4:00PM with Rev. Paul Allen of Chapin Methodist Church officiating. A graveside burial service will be held at North Newington Baptist Church Cemetery.located at 11572 Newington Highway, Newington, Georgia 30446 on October 17, 2018 at 3:00PM with Dr. Charles Cooper of Sylvania First Baptist Church officiating.

Remembrances in memory of Willene Evans Rickert may be made to Sylvania First Baptist Church at 214 S Main Street, Sylvania, Georgia 30467. Please share condolences and memories at


  • Father: Willie Wood Evans (deceased)
    Mother: Lena Brantley Evans (deceased)
    Husband: Harold Russel Rickert (deceased)
    Daughter: Merrilyn Rickert Sease
    Granddaughter: Angela Reid, husband, Zebulon
    Grandson: Russel Sease, wife, Jaclyn
    Great-grandchildren: Zoe and Zarek Reid and Jackson, Elon and Gordon Sease
    Sister: Mary Wilma Wells
    Niece: Margo Metts
    Niece: Lynn Sheppard


  • Funeral Service Tuesday, October 16, 2018
  • Graveside Service Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Mrs. Willene Rickert

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Henry Buchheit

October 17, 2018

I am the son of Marian Perkins Buchheit who was cousin to both Willene and Mary Wilma. I recall as a young child when we would gather at the home of Lena Evans, and Willene, Mary Wilma, and their families would all be there. They were such gracious host and company, and I remember the fun of exploring the farm with Margo and Lynn ! Thank you for those visits and treasured memories !
My sincere condolences to the entire family.
Love and Very Best Regards, Henry

Kay (Buchheit) Wright

October 15, 2018

I remember so well having dinner with Willene, Merrilyn and Harold at Uncle Willie Wood and Aunt Lena Evans home. We always dined in their huge dining room. As a young girl, I was so impressed by this loving family.

Watching Willene these past months playing the piano on Facebook has been such a delight. Thank you Merrilyn for the beautifully composed obituary of your wonderful mother.

She will be greatly missed,