Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2002 18:54:39 -0600

She would have been 105 years old today...
My grandmother
 Lillie Gertrude Hanks Willis
Born: December 29, 1897; Died July 2, 1973
by Randy Willis

She married my grandfather and namesake Randall Lee Willis (b. Mar. 20, 1886; d. May 14, 1940)  on January 11, 1914. She was only 16. She called him "Ran." (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 women."   Arthur Allen Hanks married Mary Stark on Oct. 17, 1895.
They moved from Branch to near Lecompte, Louisiana  when Grandmother was 11. Their log home was located where IH 49 is today (right in the middle), approximately 500' south of Highway 112, near Lecompte.   They owned a meat market.  The Children of Mary Stark and Arthur Allen Hanks were: my grandmother Lillie Gertrude Hanks (b. Dec.  29, 1897; d. July 02, 1973),  Ivy "Buddy" Lee Hanks  (b. Nov. 18, 1898; d. Dec. 10, 1982),  Callie Hanks, Mary Delia Hanks, Ivy also had a twin brother who died at birth. 
My Grandmother 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 Jesus do with our sins," and without hesitation she said "He throws them as far as the east is from the west."   She would often tell me  "Randy, the only Bible most people ever read is our lives."  Although poor, by today's standards, she would feed and clothed those in her neighborhood, only slightly financially worst off than her.  She was a "Proverbs 31 women." I loved her with all my heart, and still do.
Enclosed are two love letters (cards) written to her by my grandfather
and two photographs of her.