Willie Mae Denley was born Aug. 26, 1930 in Columbus to the proud parents of Mattie Coleman and Will Denley. Willie Mae resided all her life in the same block in which she was born. Willie Mae received her golden tiara, angel wings and ascended to Eternal Glory Aug. 9. Willie Mae was affectionately called “Puddin or Aunt Puddin”. She was the youngest of nine children, and her family was very proud of her, especially her brothers because many of them were unable to complete school and needed to work to help support the family.
Willie Mae attended and graduated from the public schools in Columbus. Upon graduation, her desire were to attend Cosmetology School to pursue becoming a Beautician. Willie Mae already had an established cliental in Columbus on the river every weekend, and opted not to go away she stayed close to home. She didn’t shy away from hard work and worked for one family for 40 years. She was a hard-working, humble, quiet, strong willed mother.
Willie Mae received Christ as her Lord and Savior at a young age, and was baptized in the Colorado River. She became a member of Smith Chapel Baptist Church, with continued membership at the New Greater Smith Chapel Baptist Church, Columbus. She loved singing in the church choir and her angelic voice could be heard daily around the house while performing chores. Willie Mae was well known for her excellent cooking skills, every day was Thanksgiving around her table. Her doors were always open to family and friends and no one went away hungry. Willie Mae enjoyed reading her Bible, embroidery and quilting. She loved her vacations to San Francisco and Oakland to visit her relatives.
Willie Mae was preceded in death by her parents, Mattie Coleman and Will Denley; brothers Jerry Lee Ellis, Jessie Coleman, Lonnie Coleman, Joe Coleman, Ernest Coleman, Roy Lee Coleman, John “Shack” Denley, Leonard Denley and Richard Booker; Sisters Francis Norman King, Mattie Lee Coleman and Dorothy Evans.
Willie Mae leaves to cherish her memory her four children; daughter Cynthia Barfield (Walter Lucas) of Oakland CA, daughter Pandora Denley of Columbus and sons Alfred Denley (Beverly) of Columbus and Roy Darnell Denley of Columbus.
Grandchildren Asonti Barfield Joseph (Bency), Eman Barfield Hill, Brenah Barfield and Jamon Barfield (Melissa) all of California. She also leaves seven great grand children and one great-great grand daughter and a host of nieces, nephews, family members and friends.
Visitation will be Friday, Aug. 16, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Henneke Funeral Home in Columbus, and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Greater Smith Baptist Church in Columbus.
Funeral services will be Saturday Aug. 17 at 2 p.m. at Greater Smith Baptist Church with Rev. Joseph Hargrove officiating. Burial will follow in Columbus City Cemetery in Columbus.
Online condolences may be given to the family at www.hennekefuneralhome.com.