Darlene Adele Willis

Darlene Adele Willis, age 87, of St. Peters, Missouri entered into heaven peacefully on Sunday, April 21, 2024.  Darlene was born to Wesley and Florence Eyres on July 16, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois.  She spent her early years in Oak Park, Illinois, and then in June, 1950 – when Dar was 14 – her family moved to St. Louis, where her father took employment with Stix, Baer and Fuller.  Dar was the middle of five children.

Dar married Don Willis on February 18, 1956.  Interestingly, they shared the same birthday (July 16th), although Don was four years her senior.  Together they had three sons: Dale, Scott and Mark.  While raising three boys, Dar has said she felt outnumbered, and for good reason: They gave her plenty of trouble from time to time!  Years later, the Lord finally began giving Dar some consolation when, one by one, her sons got married.  She was so grateful for her beautiful daughters-in-law.

Darlene was a devoted wife and mother.  She was a natural nurturer and caregiver, and she poured her life into her sons, whom she loved.  Some years later, while her boys were still growing up at home, she was inspired to enter nursing school.  After a challenging course of study and a lot of hard work, she earned an associate’s degree in nursing in 1972 from St. Louis Community College (Florissant Valley branch).  Dar worked many years thereafter as a nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Charles, serving in various departments.  This was a natural role for her, and she provided such good care for each of her patients.  After her retirement, she volunteered as ‘Camp Nurse’ for several years at Camp Penuel in Ironton, Missouri.

For many years Dar (and Don) were faithful members of Trinity Tabernacle Assembly of God Church, where she served in various capacities.  Later, after moving from Hazelwood to St. Peters, they attended West County Assembly of God Church.  Dar was always a devoted follower of Jesus, and she, along with Don, left an incredible godly heritage for her family.

Dar valued her many dear friends, and she was amazingly good at keeping in touch with them over the years, often writing letters and sending cards.  Ever so social, she had a wonderful curiosity about people, and loved meeting people and making new friends.

Dar loved her family dearly.  When the grandkids became old enough, for several years she hosted a “Girl’s Camp” at her home each summer for her granddaughters.  These times with the girls were filled with Bible devotions, morning walks, craft-making, swimming, much fun and laughter, and of course lots of ice cream!

Dar lost her beloved Don to complications from multiple myeloma in February, 2005.  They had been married 49 years.

Dar loved books and was an avid reader.  For many years she faithfully wrote in her journal.  She loved connecting with friends and spending time with her family, and sharing a good laugh over a cup of coffee or a good meal.  She especially loved recreating at their vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks.

Sometime around 2011, Darlene was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.  What followed was a slow, steady decline in her memory and cognitive function.  However, what Dar never lost was her sweet spirit and her love for Jesus.  Even in the midst of her dementia and confusion, she sought to serve others before herself and to call on the precious name of her Savior.

Dar will be remembered as one of the most humble, selfless, servant-hearted people you could ever meet.  She will be dearly missed.

Dar was preceded in death by her parents Thomas Wesley and Florence Eyres, her brother Dave Eyres, sister Cynthia Stout, and her husband Don Willis.

She is survived by her sister Elise Oar and brother John Eyres; children, Dale (Tammy) Willis, Scott (Marita) Willis, and Mark (Joy) Willis; 16 grandchildren, (Andrew) Jennifer Vaughn, (Rylan) Rebecca Hill, Tim (MaryBeth) Willis, Jonathan (Rae) Willis, (Sam) Jessica Porter, Joshua (Rachel) Willis, Janelle Willis, Joseph (Anna) Willis, Julaine Willis,  (Ferguson) Anna Boone, (Aaron) Emily Mudry, Laura Willis, Caleb Willis, John-Mark Willis, Judah Willis, Olivia Willis; 14 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Leave a Condolence