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Jessie Imogene Willis

Jessie Imogene Willis, age 83, 843 Coffee Ridge Road, Erwin, passed away peacefully on Monday, April 16, 2018 in the Unicoi County Memorial Hospital Long Term Care Unit. She was a lifelong resident of Unicoi County and daughter of the late Carl and Lela Lewis Higgins.

Imogene was a member of Coffee Ridge Baptist Church and former member of the Order of Eastern Star #407. She retired from Morrill Motors after forty-three years of service.

In addition to her parents, Imogene was preceded in death by her husband of sixty-seven years, Harley Willis on October 09, 2008; one daughter, Carolyn B. Willis Story on February 28, 2016; two brothers: Harold Higgins and John Hadley Higgins; one sister, Carlene Higgins Foster.

Imogene leaves behind to cherish her memories, one son, John Willis and wife, Joan, Erwin; Son-in-law, William A. Story, Erwin; three brothers: Marvin Higgins and wife, Betty, Florida; Bobby Higgins and wife, Karen, Erwin, Charles “Butch” Higgins and wife, Connie, Johnson City; six grandchildren: Dwayne Tipton, Tracie Metcalf and husband, Randy, all of Erwin, Scott Higgins and wife, Tara, Unicoi, Jody Tolley and wife, Crystal, NC, Rachel Ayers and husband, Landon, Kerri Tomlinson, all Erwin; ten great grandchildren: Darian Tipton, Valeria Tipton, Tyler Metcalf, Shian Higgins Stewart, Hunter Higgins, Jackson Tolley, Peyton Tolley, Eli Ayers, Brayden Tomlinson and Everett Tomlinson; five sisters-in-law: Mildred Higgins, Martha Willis Rice and husband, Robert, Eva Willis Bowman and husband, James, Linda Willis Edwards and husband, Guy, Geraldine Willis; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, family and a loving church family also survive.

The family will receive friends from 5:00-7:00 P.M. on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at the Robert Ledford Funeral Home Chapel. Reverend Phillip Garland will officiate at the 7:00 P.M. funeral service. Music will be provided by Sue Story, Valerie Barcel and Vera Watts. Committal service will be held at 3:00 P.M. on Friday in the Willis Family Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Dwayne Tipton, Scott Higgins, Darian Tipton, Hunter Higgins, Landon Ayers, Michael Higgins, Keith Bowman and Kevin Bowman. Honorary pallbearers will be Randy Metcalf, Jody Tolley and Tyler Metcalf. Those wishing to attend are asked to meet at the funeral home by 2:30 P.M. on Friday to go in procession to the cemetery.

Online condolences, photos and memories may be shared with the Willis family through our complimentary, interactive Book of Memories at

Robert Ledford Funeral Home, 720 Ohio Avenue, Erwin, is privileged to serve the Willis family. (423) 743-1380.