June 15, 1947 - July 25, 2012 Resided in Paterson, NJ
Willie Mae was born on June 15, 1947 to the late Willie Thomas and Fannie (Russell) Thomas in West Bend, Alabama. Willie Mae received her formal education in the Coffeeville, Alabama school system where she was a member of the Cheer Leader Squad and was a 1965 graduate.
At an early age Willie Mae joined the Cedar Point Baptist Church in West Bend, Alabama.
Willie Mae was joined in matrimony to the late Hilliard A. Garnes.
Willie Mae was a resident of Paterson, NJ for 45 years. She was employed at the Wayne Manor Nursing Home for 15 years and has been an employee at Home Care Options for the last 32 years.
In the summer of 1980 Willie Mae gave her heart to the Lord and became a member of the Paterson Seventh Day Adventist Church. She loved God and her church and was deeply involved. She dedicated her life to God in the church as a Deaconess, member of several Choirs and was a Community Service Worker. Her most enjoyable duty in the church was that of an usher where she served until the last day she attended service. With a smile on her face and a song in her heart she was a loving, caring, humble and gentle servant. She also gave to many organizations, one in particular was the United Negro College Fund.
On Wednesday, July 25, 2012 Willie Mae quietly exchanged time for eternity. She was preceded in death by there siblings, Obie, Willie July and Earnest and one son-in-law, Willie Earl Coates.
Willie Mae leaves to cherish her memories, three daughters, Frances Coates, of Zimco, AL, Lillian Garnes (Donald) of Paterson, NJ and Victoria Hunt (Jarvis) of Gainestown, AL, Five grandchildren, Hilary, Hishawn, Malcolm, Shamal and Jarvis Jr., two great-granddaughters, Sariyah and Julnoly. She also leaves to cherish her memory three sisters, Dorothy Thomas of West Bend, AL, Margaret Sherrod of Stafford, VA, and Pecola Handy (Aubrey) of Mansfield, LA, one brother, Cecil Thomas of West Bend, AL, one aunt, Earnestine Russell of Mt. Vernon, AL, two nephews, Randy Thomas (Brenda) and Erskin Sherrod (Brenda) two nieces, Beulah Thomas and Tia Handy, two god children, Lisa Rose-Broyles and Gary Wisdom. She was also leaves a host of other relatives, friends and church family and a devoted cat, Buddy.