May 29, 2020
Willa Brown Greene was born in 1932 in DeRidder and slipped from this earth May 29, 2020, in Natchitoches “Sheltered in the Arms of God.”
Raised in DeRidder, she married B.F. Greene of Summerfield in 1949 and started a 70-year adventure of a bridge-builder’s life including over 40 moves throughout the state of Louisiana. They finally settled in Natchitoches in 1964 and stayed.
After raising three daughters, she earned her GED from Natchitoches Trade School and then went to work as school secretary at East Natchitoches Jr. High. She quit to give birth to her only son, and several years later became secretary at Calvary Baptist Church…a position she held for almost 20 years. She was an active member of Calvary as long as she was physically able to attend and was proud and appreciative of the friends she made there.
She loved music. Her favorite artists included Elvis, Andy Williams, Ray Charles, Eddie Arnold, Floyd Cramer and the Gaithers. She grew up singing with her sisters who, as she stated, sang to their neighbors until their neighbors begged them to stop! Her grandmother, Rebekah Shirley, taught her to play piano. Her grandfather, Warren Shirley, was a preacher-missionary for Beauregard Parish and as a child she’d load up in their car and attend church services and revivals throughout the area.
She loved to cook, and even today her family and friends fondly remember her potato salad, chicken and dressing and chocolate gravy.
She raised four strong-willed, rambunctious children who often heard her words of wisdom including, “pretty is as pretty does,” “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” and “we do lots of things we don’t like to do.”
She loved company, and especially having grandkids around her. She had a sharp wit, and loved the mental challenge of trivia games.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Clayton and Eva Brown of DeRidder; daughter, Rhenda Cedars of Natchitoches; sisters, Shirley Hester and Fonda Brown of DeRidder; and brother, H.C. Brown Jr. of Ragley.
She is survived by B.F. Greene of Natchitoches, husband for 70 years; daughter, Donna Greene and Denise Bailey and husband Grant, all of Natchitoches; son, Jason Greene and wife Jennifer of Jonesboro, Ark.; brother, Rick Brown and wife Christa of Odum, Ga.; seven grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; and two life-long friends, Lucille Taylor and LaVelle Cheatwood of Natchitoches.
The family expresses many thanks to sitters Cheryl Frost, Marie Law and Bessie Jones; the staff of Natchitoches Regional Medical Center and The Courtyard; and Hospice of Natchitoches for the professional and compassionate service to our mother during these last few months. In particular, thank you Courtyard staff for your expertise, kindness and consideration during this time of pandemic.
A graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 2 at Coldwater Baptist Church in Hagewood with Bro. Craig Beeman officiating. The family will receive friends from noon-1:30 p.m. at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home.
Those honored to serve as pallbearers include Brian Cedars, Tyler Cedars, Patrick Greene, Chad Ross, Jason Riley and Rocky Carney.