Needlepoint 04

Lela Mattie Willette

August 29, 1929 ~ February 16, 2021 (age 91)


Lela Willette, 91, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.  She is preceded in death by her husband, Walter, with whom she had two daughters.  Even though tragedy struck early in the young couple’s lives and she was left to raise her young children on her own, she spoke often and lovingly of her husband. Those stories will live on through her grandchildren.

Lela worked hard to provide for her children and, later, for her mother and brother.  She had an incredible work ethic and took great pride in her job whether she was a waitress, factory worker or grocery store bagger.  She was truly valued by her employers. Through frugalness and smart financial planning, she was able to retire early and dedicate the next 20 years volunteering for Navy Relief.  

She enjoyed all types of needlework.  Booties, leg warmers, pillows, quilts, scarves, hats, wall hangings, and decorative boxes were created in abundance and were enjoyed by her family, friends, and anyone who touched her life. She also loved to travel.  Biloxi and Gatlinburg were among her favorite places.  For those who were fortunate enough to join her, there are stories that will be told for a lifetime.

Her quick wit, sense of humor and oddball one liners will be missed.  Her love for us will be forever in our hearts.  She is survived by her daughters and their husbands, Helen Soriano (Von) and Sandra Elkins (Charlie); grandchildren Renee Edmonson (Shawn), Kristina Whitten (Aaron), Michael Jones, Cherie Fraley (Tom), Michelle Paseur (Jake); great grandson Christopher Edmonson; nephew Carl Brewer (Tammy); step grandson Christopher Elkins (Patricia); and longtime friends Nancy and Clyde Jones.

Graveside Services will be 12 Noon Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at Riverside Cemetery. The family will receive friends for the visitation from 11 AM until 11:45 AM Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at Woodbury Funeral Home.  

To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lela Mattie Willette, please visit our tribute store.


February 23, 2021

11:00 AM to 11:45 AM
Woodbury Funeral Home
504 W. Main St.
Woodbury, TN 37190

Graveside Service
February 23, 2021

12:00 PM
Riverside Cemetery

Woodbury, TN 37190

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