Lillie Hanks Willis
Submitted for the LA GenWeb Archives by Randy
Lillie Gertrude Hanks Willis
Born: December 29, 1897
Went to Heaven 29-years ago today, July 2, 1973
As a young boy and teen-ager she poured Jesus into me! Randy Willis
She married my grandfather and namesake Randall Lee Willis (b. Mar 20, 1886; d. May 14, 1940)
on January 11, 1914. (He was named after his father's commanding general in the Civil War,
Gen. Randall Lee Gibson.) She was the daughter of Arthur Allen Hanks and Mary Stark. Mary
Stark had traveled by covered wagon with her parents, John M. Stark and Marie Deroussel, to
Branch, Louisiana. Mary Stark often spoke of the panthers screaming in the woods of
Louisiana, she said they screamed "just like a woman." Grandmother Lillie moved, with her
parents, between Lecompte and Forest Hill, Louisiana (near the present-day intersection
of IH 49 and LA 112) from Branch, at age 11.
She was a strong believer in Christ and was a staunch Baptist. I remember her deep
reverence for the Lord. I also, remember walking into the church sanctuary with her one day,
where the pastor was teaching a Sunday school class. He looked up from his notes and
asked, Mrs. Willis "what does
Christ do with our sins," and without hesitation she
said "He throws them as far as the east is from the west." She was a "Proverbs 31 woman." I
loved her with all my heart, and still do.
Two love letters (cards) written to Lillie Hanks Willis by my grandfather.