Cover photo for Willa "Billie" Pierce's Obituary
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1917 Willa 2015

Willa "Billie" Pierce

August 7, 1917 — October 3, 2015

Mrs. Willa Francis Pierce (Billie), 98, of Morehead, Kentucky, passed away peacefully, Saturday, October 3, 2015, surrounded by her loving family and caregivers at her home at Cave Run Manor.

Billie was born in Fleming County, Kentucky, on August 7, 1917.  Her parents were Carlos and Jennie Belle Colliver both of Fleming County.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her baby brother, William Todd Colliver, her husband of 65 years, Dwight Pierce in 2000 and her son, Bill Bruce Pierce in 2012.

Billie worked alongside her husband, Dwight, in the various stores they owned or managed.  She was a very independent person who loved to serve others in any way possible.  Even at an advanced age, she baked and delivered hundreds of brownie sheet cakes and corn puddings.  Billie volunteered thousands of hours at St. Claire Regional Medical Center.

She was a faithful lifelong member of the First Baptist Church of Morehead.  She enjoyed serving her church, quilting, cooking, playing non-competitive card games, (now everyone roll your eyes), traveling and being with her family.  Her greatest joy was cooking Sunday and holiday dinners for her family, making certain they were uncomfortably full when they left her table.

One of Billie’s favorite memories involved good friends, Alpha and Mildred Hutchinson.  When getting married, Alpha asked to borrow Billie’s wedding ring for Mildred, until he could afford to buy one.

Billie loved to laugh, as does her daughter Jane and granddaughter Shari.  She was the perfect audience for her favorite comedy due of her son Bill and his friend, John Duncan, asking for her favorite stories to be repeated over and over again.

All children were important to her as she taught Bible school and cared for babies in the church nursery.  She lovingly remembered taking Nancy Baker and Doug Jones by the hand when they arrived for Bible School.  She was fondly referred to as “Big Mom” by children throughout Morehead and especially by her grand and great grandchildren.  She always had a dollar, quarter or candy for every child she encountered.

She is survived by a son, Danny Pierce (Evelyn) of Auburndale, Florida; a daughter, Jane Smith (Cap Lowthert) of Wilmington, Delaware; and a daughter-in-law, Carole Scott Pierce of Morehead; seven grandchildren:  Shari Pierce of Lexington, Mari O’Toole (Tim) of Cincinnati, Michael Pierce (Heather) of Clearfield, Todd Pierce and Trudi Bayless (Palmer) of Atlanta, Joshuah Smith (Stephanie), Ryan Smith (Nitasha) all of Wilmington, Delaware, ten great-grandchildren, Haley Wojahn Shivley, Kelsey and Delaney O’Toole; Caden, Jackson and Anderson Pierce; Emily and Ansley Bayless; Madison and Juliana Smith will greatly miss their Big Mom.  Billie will also be missed by her nieces and nephews, special friends, and several granddogs.  The family greatly appreciated the loving care given by the staff of Cave Run Manor, especially Melany and Emily Workman.

Funeral services will be conducted at 10:00 A.M. Tuesday, October 6, 2015 in the chapel of the Michael R. Gray Funeral Home – Morehead with Dr. Don Mantooth and Rev. Curt Lowndes officiating.

Burial will follow in the Lee Cemetery.

Visitation was after 6:00 P.M. Monday at the funeral home.

Pallbearers will be Joshuah Smith, Ryan Smith, Michael Pierce, Tim O'Toole, William Goebel and Christopher Shivley.

Honorary pallbearers will be Caden Pierce, Jackson Pierce and Anderson Pierce.

The family requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the Morehead First Baptist Church, St. Claire Hospice, or a favorite charity.


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