Willis, Lily Kathleen
Peacefully at the Smiths Falls Hospital on Saturday, August 19, 2023, at the age of 97. Beloved wife of Pat Willis for over 70 years. Loving mother of Kathy (Murray) O'Shea, and Dan (Virginia) Willis. Cherished grandmother of Heather (Arthur), Shauna (Terry), Brendan (Sara), Michael (Courtney), Jessica (Gordon), Steven (Natalie), Laura, Shawn, Adam (Issy). Forever missed by her great grandchildren Mattaes, Matilda, Eleanor, Piper, Grayson, Aspen, Clayton, Cheyenne, Melody, and Granger. Survived by her sister Betty. Predeceased by her parents Harry (George) and Joan Ferguson. Fondly remembered by many nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.
Family, faith, and friends defined Lily. She was always ready to step in and help out.
Her love of God was undeniable and her faith unshakable. The church was always a central part of Lily's life. Beginning at St. Luke's cathedral in Sault Ste. Marie, continuing with Sudbury's Church of the Epiphany, where she met her future husband Pat, and extending to Elliot Lake's new parish of St. Peter the Apostle, where she was parish secretary for many years. She continued her participation in the parishes of St. John The Evangelist in Smith Falls Ontario and, later in the winters, at the Church of the Redeemer in Avon Park Florida. She was always involved with her parish both internally and outward to the diocesan level and beyond. She was also a member of the DoK (Daughters of the King).
Her faith involved many facets of her life that extended into her community. In her younger days Lily fed and patched up many a camper as both a cook and a nurse among other roles at the Algoma Diocesan church Camp Manitou on Georgian Bay. As the family settled in Smiths Falls in the late 1960s, Lily continued with heavy involvement in many women's ministries, becoming the first Diocesan President in the Ottawa Diocese of the newly formed ACW (Anglican Church Women). She also participated in parish council, Diocesan Synod, led Vacation Bible Schools, and contributed to community dinners.
Locally in Smiths Falls, Lily was best known for her diverse roles in the community including selling Avon, working as a volunteer coordinator and later accounting representative with the Rideau Regional Centre. She was also an early days driving force behind the Smiths Falls Child Development Centre, serving as Chair of the Board during the planning, implementation, and first few years of operation.
When it came time for relaxing, Lily was an enthusiastic golfer, a sport she enjoyed year-round as a Florida Snowbird. Lily also enjoyed an afternoon or evening playing bridge with a passion. A voracious reader with a thirst for knowledge, Lily even went back to school taking university level courses in Psychology scoring marks higher than her children in the same courses.
As per Lily's wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial service will take place at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, Smiths Falls on September 9th, 2023, at 10 a.m. Interment to follow at St. John Cemetery, Smiths Falls. As expressions of sympathy, donations to Primate's World Relief and Development Fund, Canadian Cancer Society, or St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church would be greatly appreciated. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Lannin Funeral Home. Online condolences available at www.lannin.ca