OBITUARY

Barbara Thomas Wills

February 4, 1931May 5, 2020

Barbara Thomas Wills, 89, died May 5, 2020 in Jackson MS after a brief battle with COVID-19 and an extended challenge with Alzheimer’s. Due to precautions with the virus, there will be no visitation and her funeral will be restricted to immediate family only on May 8th at Lakewood Funeral Home with interment at Lakewood Memorial Park, Jackson, MS. The family regrets these restrictions on all those who were touched by the relationships they had with Barbara over many years. Please remember her during this time and stay safe.

Mrs. Wills was preceded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs William Renn (Lois) Thomas, her sister Mary Lois, her husband of 51 years Robert Judson Wills, and her son David Thomas Wills. She is survived by her son, Robert Judson (Barbara) Wills Jr.: Arley, AL: daughter in law Kathy (Mike) McCollough, Clinton: grandsons Andrew Judson Wills and Stephen Michael Wills; and 9 nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Wills was born in Miami, Florida. She was a 1949 graduate of Miami High School and graduated from Florida State University in 1953. While at FSU, she was in Alpha Chi Omega sorority, Phi Beta Kappa honor society, and was a member of the University Senate. Following college, marriage, and moving to Clinton in 1954, Mrs. Wills was a teacher in the Clinton/Jackson area, teaching history and Bible at Enochs Jr. High, Clinton Jr. High, Mt. Salus Christian School and Mississippi Baptist High School. She loved her students and enjoyed close relationships with many of them that continued until her passing.

Barbara was a faithful and dedicated member of First Baptist Church of Clinton for over 65 years, serving as a Sunday School teacher, Adult Choir member, and member of three Pastor Search Committees. While she was an active participant in church activities, her relationship with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was deep and personal. She was a prayer warrior. That came natural to her since she loved and cared about people and she had an intimate relationship with God. She was up long before dawn every morning, reviewing her prayer journals and raising people’s needs up before God.

Barbara valued her family, was a great wife and mother to her two sons and was very involved with her two grandsons. She and her husband enjoyed RV travels and international trips to many countries, including the Holy Land. Barbara enjoyed watching sports and had a strong connection to many teams supported by family members and an unexplained fondness for the San Antonio Spurs.

The family appreciates the many expressions of support from family, friends, church members, and many of Mom’s former students. We would also thank Brookdale Senior Living in Clinton, especially the staff of the Memory Care Unit, who provided such excellent care for Barbara during her last 4 years. Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church, Clinton or the Mississippi Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Services

  • Private Services

    Friday, May 8, 2020

Memories

Barbara Thomas Wills

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Robin Butts

May 9, 2020

Rob, Charles and I are so sorry to hear of your loss. Your mom was an amazing woman! Her excitement for the Lord was contagious, and her conversation with others always included Him. She had a gift for encouraging others and making each individual feel loved and important to her. As a teenager, I often visited her to talk things out, and her wisdom usually helped me see things more clearly. In my visits with her once I was grown, she talked about you & David, and your families. She loved y'all so much & was very proud of each of you. On this Mother's Day I'm remembering her fondly, thinking of you, and praising God for blessing you with her as your mom! Much love, Robin

Robert (Ray) Rayfield

May 8, 2020

I had Mrs. Wills as a teacher at Mt Salus and at Mississippi Baptist. I enjoyed having her as a teacher. It’s sad to know she has passed but she is in the presence of the Lord and Jesus now. She taught his word well to many. I am sure He is pleased to have her home.

Linda Lyall

May 7, 2020

Barbara was my choir buddy. I loved listening to her stories about her family and our church. My daughter told me Mrs. Wills was the best Sunday school teacher she ever had. Heaven has gained a precious lady.

Judy Bufkin

May 7, 2020

I admired Mrs. Wills so much. She was a beautiful example of a woman in love with her Savior. She demonstrated that love to me with her wise words of encouragement and spiritual guidance. I valued her prayers and her friendship.

Stephanie (Stewart)Seabrook

May 7, 2020

Where do I begin?! She reared the awesome David Wills, my first youth director! At age 51, I can still hear her voice and see her smile from when she taught me Sunday School at age 14. As I am aging, I often think of her, and remember her speaking about how to “grow old gracefully.” How blessed am I to have had the privilege of being one of the many whose life is graced with having her as my model for how that looks. Her beautiful smile and wisdom as a part of memory - as well as one such as Barbara to serve as an example of what it looks like to be a woman of God in Christ. Outside of my own beloved grandmother, Sarah Tabor, she is absolutely one in my life-one of the rare, few, who emanate the beautiful ageless light that shines from a woman who has had Heaven within her all along.

Becky Hurtt White

May 7, 2020

Mrs Wills was my Bible teacher. She was very kind and had such a sweet spirit. I felt comfortable around her. I remember her talking about her RV travels and how she loved spending time with her family. You would think after all this time that you wouldn’t remember such things but she was different from the other teachers. I knew she genuinely cared. That’s was set her apart and of course the smile you received every time you looked her way. I will always remember her and that smile.

Cynthia Leavelle

May 6, 2020

I first met Barbara in a Bible study on prayer. She was always my ideal vision of a prayer warrior. I enjoyed the many talks we had and her indomitable optimism. She will be missed, but heaven has gained.

Earl Touchstone

May 6, 2020

She was such a wonderful woman of God. I do recall her keeping David in line - but there wasn’t much to it. She had a huge impact on my life. The Angels are rejoicing as she enters heaven. God bless all of y’all.

Kim Brashier

May 6, 2020

Mrs. Wills will always hold a special place in my heart. She was a godly lady who showed me what it meant to pray without ceasing, especially for others. I’m praying for you, Wills Family. I know that you are thankful for the assurance that she is with her Savior forevermore.

Jean Clark

May 6, 2020

Very sad to say that this earth has lost a dear child of God but rejoicing that she is now truly at home with Christ. Her life was a devotion and testimony of Christ’s love. She reflected Christ in her daily life and loved many, many, many individuals with the heart of Christ. It was an honor to have known her and have her pray for me. There are few like her. I am thankful for having known her and to call her a friend. Well done good and faithful servant of God. Her life verse was- Isaiah 40:31
My condolences to her family.

FROM THE FAMILY

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