Bertha Dana Willard

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Funeral services for Bertha Dana Willard, 93, West Plains, Mo., will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016, at First Baptist Church, under the direction of Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.

Mrs. Willard passed away Monday, Aug. 1, at Ozarks Medical Center.

She was born Nov. 14, 1922, at Rover, Mo., to Elmer Franklin VonAllmen and Nora Belle Jolliff VonAllmen. On June 10, 1941, she was married at West Plains, Mo., to Dr. Joseph Ira "J.I." Willard, who preceded her in death on Nov. 11, 1999. J.I. was a pastor in churches in Oregon, Howell, Vernon and Jackson counties in Missouri. Bertha was a supportive wife and a vital part of his ministry, teaching, counseling and mentoring families in their churches.

She is survived by four children, Joyce Hancock and husband, Dr. Steve Hancock, Cicero, Ind., Wilda Pingel and husband, Robert, West Plains, Mo., Mary Jo Freeman and husband, Dr. Roger Freeman, Independence, Mo., and Mark Willard and wife, Pam, Lee's Summit, Mo.; 10 grandchildren, Stefani Hancock, Scott Hancock, Wesley Freeman, Melissa Cunningham, Aaron Freeman, Dr. Caleb Pingel, Heather Gallant, Alison Dueker and Hilary Wheeler; 32 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; one brother, Dean VonAllmen, West Plains, Mo.; one sister-in-law, Jane Willard, Chatsworth, Calif.; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Her parents, husband, five brothers and two sisters, precede her in death.

Visitation will be from 6 until 8 p.m., Wednesday, at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Jolliff Cemetery.

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