Nancy Anne Willis Howell was promoted to glory on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 after suffering from COVID-19, following a prolonged battle with Alzheimer’s. She was faithfully supported by her dear husband of 68 years, W.A., and her loving daughter, Valerie.
Nancy was born on Jan. 4, 1934, in Villa Rica, Georgia, the daughter of the late Thomas Milton Willis and Dorothy Carden Willis. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her son, Walter David Howell, and her brothers, Donald Milton Willis and Thomas David (Tommy) Willis.
A graduate of Villa Rica High School, Nancy used her business education skills to enjoy a successful career in Atlanta for many years. Throughout her early years, she was an active member of Macedonia Baptist Church, where she met and later married Walter Asbury Howell on July 20, 1952. Their love and family expanded with the births of their two children, Walter David on April 27, 1955, and Valerie Ellen on April 21, 1960.
Nancy’s life exemplified the Proverbs 31 Woman, as she continually used her spiritual gifts of service, mercy, teaching, and exhortation to benefit others. She taught Sunday School for young married couples for many years, led Bible studies with her husband, W.A., in their home, and traveled for more than 20 years leading lay renewal work with the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. She was a member of Heritage Baptist Church in Douglasville, where she used skills obtained from taking courses in library science to establish a library for the church. She also used those same skills to establish a library at Dunklin Memorial Camp in South Florida, where she and W.A. worked for several years helping people recover from addiction problems.
Her service went beyond the walls of the church, including working as a school secretary and serving on the board of the Douglas County Retardation Center. She was always there to help others in need, from helping a father and mother of eight children find housing, clothing and food, and resources to help maximize the potential of each child, to sharing soup, counseling, and prayers with anyone who called her with a problem.
She also delighted in her family and enjoyed supporting them in their passions. She helped her daughter with her Merle Norman Business and her son with his music. She supported her husband’s passion for gardening by canning and preparing the vegetables he grew. Her cooking was well renowned by all who knew her. She was also passionate about genealogy, pouring countless hours into family history albums that she shared with many in her extended family, as well as a family cookbook, complete with stories about the recipes.
Her countenance and radiance of her love for the Lord always shone through in any situation. You can still see the reflections of her acts of kindness and love in the lives of those on whom she poured her gifts.
She is survived by her husband, W.A. Howell, her daughter, Valerie Howell, numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.
There will be a Celebration of Nancy’s life at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider:
• Performing an act of kindness for a child in need.
• Donating funds or a children’s book or children’s Bible to: Heritage Baptist Church, 8800 Rose Ave., Douglasville, GA 30134, 770-947-0509.
• Signing up with Valerie (email@example.com) to give a call or visit to W.A. over the next several weeks.
You may share your thoughts and condolences online
Hightower’s Memorial Chapel of Douglasville.