Clarice Willis was born Oct. 11, 1917, in Marvell to Jeddie and Clara Holtzclaw. He was a doctor, and she was a schoolteacher in a 1-room schoolhouse. Clarice's father died when she was a young child, and her mother struggled to support her, her sister Frances, and her brother Foster.
Clarice lived all but the last four years of her life in Marvell. She taught school for a few years at Goodluck School. She rode to school with a man named Howard Willis. They fell in love and were married on Sept. 14, 1940 in Marvell.
Marvell First Christian Church was a very important part of Clarice's life. Over the years, she taught Sunday school, played the piano, and served the Lord she loved.
Clair loved flowers and was a member of the Marvell Garden Club. She enjoyed working in her yard and sharing her flowers with friends. Some of her flowers bloom in her friends' yards still.
Clair enjoyed her friends and family. She liked to get together with them often. Her famous sugar cookies and homemade rolls will long remain in the memory of those lucky enough to have tasted them.
Although Clarice never had children, she loved children. She was a big part of the lives of her nieces and nephews. She always had advice to give to her Marvell nieces. Some of her most memorable advice was: (On teaching) “Just hold your head high, be dignified, and greet the children at the door” and “Never go to drive-in movies!” She had a lifelong influence on all of her “children”.
Clarice went to be with her Lord on June 27, 2013 at Crittenden Memorial Hospital in West Memphis. Those who loved her will miss her. Her life will long influence the lives she touched.
Clarice leaves her nieces and nephews, Miriam Spurlock of West Memphis, Connie Floring and husband Phil of Marion, Trudy Bradley of Fayetteville, Jamie Womack and husband Richard of Springdale; Bennett and wife Cathy of Springdale; seven great nieces and two great nephews; nine great-great nieces; and two great-great nephews. Other Survivors include her dear cousins, Ellen Hirsch and Dorothy Watkins.
Her husband, Howard Willis, her parents Jeddie and Clara, her sister, Frances Cothran and her brother Foster Holtzclaw, precedes Clarice in death.
Funeral services were Monday July 1 at Bob Neal & Sons-Brickell Funeral Home in Marvell with burial in the Marvell Cemetery. You may sign the guestbook at http://www.bobnealandsons.com/.