Dorothy Mae Willis

Published 8:45 am Friday, January 6, 2023

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Dorothy Mae Willis was born July 29, 1939, in Selma, to Lake Willis and her loving mother, Gertrude Jackson.

Dorothy’s earliest church affiliation was with Zion Methodist Protestant Church, Selma, Alabama.   While there, Dorothy sang in the choir, played piano, and served as assistant to the Sunday School Secretary.  As a student at Tipton High School, Dorothy excelled, receiving the top award for her Oratorical skills; was an outstanding athlete on the girls’ basketball team and played piano for the school choir. Her musical prowess resulted from the training that she received from Ms. Dinkins, an accomplished local music teacher.

Following graduation with Honors from Tipton High School in 1956, Dorothy matriculated at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where she was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Honor Society.    Over the course of several Summers, she would travel to New York to work to further fund her education.  Eventually, Dorothy relocated to New York and resided and worked there until health conditions forced her to return to Selma in 1972. Despite these challenges, Dorothy was engaged and kept busy.  She spent countless hours in the library conducting research, reading and was an avid learner. When she wasn’t at the library she was at Walmart.  She was fiercely independent of quiet demeanor but even greater resolve. 

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Over recent years, one of Dorothy’s great joys was becoming a member of Temple Gate SDA Church.  She flourished and grew in the Lord. She was always excited about Divine Worship, Bible classes, nutrition classes and all other church related activities. Her faith was paramount. She loved the Lord.

On Sunday, January 1, 2023, in a blaze of Glory, Dorothy transitioned from labor to reward. 

Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents and beloved daughter, Deborah. She leaves to cherish her memories a brother, John A. Hardy, Jr., Columbus, Ohio; a sister, Margaret Hardy, Selma; a niece, Delta Hardy Hodges, Marietta, Ga., a cousin, Ruth Willis, Selma; a loving friend and confidante, Carrie Grider, Selma; a host of other relatives and friends.    

A memorial service is scheduled for Friday, January 6, 2022, at 11 a.m. from the Temple Gate Seventh Day Adventist Church with Lewis Brothers Funeral Home serving with excellence through professional service.