Juanita Elizabeth Staten Willis was born March 20, 1947 to the late Jimmy and Addie Mae Simmons Staten in Waycross, Ga. She was the sixth of nine children.
She was educated through Waycross School System where she was a proud graduate of Center High School, Class of 1965.
Juanita was always a responsible and dependable person. A few years after graduating, at the young age of 21, she was appointed legal guardian over her three younger sisters due to the untimely death of her parents.
In her early career she was employed with Atlanta Life Insurance Company, and after many years there she began a new career working with the Ware County Health Department. Juanita retired from Ware County Health Dept. in 2006 as an office supervisor.
After her retirement, she took pleasure in spending more quality time with her adorable grandchildren and family. She also enjoyed being more involved with her church and alumni organization.
Juanita was adored by her family and was the catalyst for many memorable family gatherings and ensuring the history of the family’s lineage was preserved. She enjoyed cooking and hosting her family in her home. She was known and loved for her generous spirit. She consistently ensured that her family and close friends received a birthday card in the mail every year.
Juanita was a longtime and faithful member of Big Bethel Freewill Baptist Church. She served as a mother of the church, president of the mission and financial secretary. She was a trustworthy and highly respected member who served in other capacities when called upon.
Juanita was an integral member of the class of 1965 alumni organization. She was known for her upbeat personality. She led the planning of many reunion events, coordinated group activities, handled logistics and she faithfully reached out to check on her classmates with encouragement.
Before her health failed, it was common for Juanita to visit with family and friends in the community which was sure to brighten their day. She truly cherished the relationships in her life.
She was preceded in death by three brothers, Jimmy Staten, Ronald Staten and Earnest Staten. Five sisters, Barbara Staten, Sharon Staten, Beverly Staten Barnum, Geraldine Staten Johnson, and Mae Staten Wilson.
She leaves to cherish her memory a loving husband Gerald Willis, Waycross, Ga; a devoted daughter and best friend, Monique Willis Dawsey (Aadrain), Warner Robins Ga; a son Anthony Hatten (Jackie), Waycross, Ga; three loving grandchildren Sydney M. Dawsey, Kennesaw, Ga, and Aadrain J. Dawsey, Warner Robins, Ga, Tiffany Neloms, Waycross, Ga; mother-in-law Thewana Parrish, Portsmouth, VA; brothers-in-law Carl Parrish and Calvin Parrish both of Portsmouth, VA, Burnice Barnum, Waycross, Ga; two sisters-in-law Paulette Durrette, Mattapan, MA, Paula Turnner, Portsmouth, VA; and an adopted brother Andrew Odell Scott (Lisa), Tallahassee, Fl.
She will also be dearly missed by a host of nieces, nephews, friends and family.
Friends and family are being received at 1708 Vernon Street, Waycross, GA. Please keep the family in prayer during this difficult time.
Services of care and comfort entrusted to the caring professionals of Fluker Funeral Home 985 Ossie Davis Parkway, Waycross, Georgia 31501
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