Willajean “Willie” Sills, age 85, passed away peacefully on December 15, 2019, in Emmett, Idaho, from Alzheimer's and lung cancer. She was born March 11, 1934, to Roger Johnson and Agnes Moody in St. Louis, MO.
Raised on a farm in the Ozarks during the Depression and WWII, Willie moved to CA at age 10 with her mother and stepfather Bill Barrett. She graduated from Sacramento High School where she met future husband Melvin “Chub” Sills. Willie worked for AAA Auto Service and California DMV before marrying Chub and giving birth to their daughter, Linda, and son, Wesley. The family moved to Citrus Heights, CA, where Willie was a homemaker for the next 20 years.
She loved river fishing with her family, cooking, neighbors, music and short vacations to locations Chub’s job as an iron worker took him. At 42, Willie went to work for the California Franchise Tax Board, held various technical communication jobs, and attended American River College until her retirement at 62. Chub had passed away of a heart attack at 52. Willie remained single the remainder of her life.
After retiring, Willie moved to a small acreage in Emmett, Idaho next to her daughter’s family. She enjoyed years of loving grand kids, travel, reading, parties with friends and family, her cats and living the country life. When Willie’s Alzheimer’s disease became pronounced in her late 70’s, Tayler Davis, Robin Davis, Judith Shipley and Willie’s family helped her to live at home for several more years. She came to live at the Cottages of Emmett in 2017, where she was lovingly cared for by its staff and residents for over two years. Heart ‘N Home Hospice nurses were also Willie’s angels of comfort in her final months.
Willie was preceded in death by her husband, Chub Sills; parents, Bill and Agnes Barrett; brother, Stanley Barrett and sister, Marie Simmons. Willie is survived by son, Wesley Sills (Theresa) of Citrus Heights, CA; daughter, Linda Rice (Billy) of Emmett, ID; granddaughter, Shannon Rice; grandson Kenneth Rice and great granddaughters, Adelynn Carrell and Effie Lynn Rice.
Memorial services will be held at the Heritage Christian Church (1648 N Washington St. in Emmett) at 3:00 pm on Saturday, January 25, 2020, followed by dinner. Burial of remains will be in March at Calvary Cemetery in Citrus Heights, CA.
Charitable donations can be made to PALS of Emmett or to the Alzheimer Association.
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