Catherine McChesney Willis

catherine willis
Catherine McChesney Willis, 72, of the Crescent View Retirement Community in Asheville, died peacefully on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. She was born to Leonard and Jane McChesney on October 2, 1939 in Lakewood, Ohio. After high school, Catherine lived and worked in Dayton, Ohio; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Nashville, Tennessee. She earned her B.A. in Education in 1988 from University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill simultaneously with her daughters Jennifer and Betsy. She was proud to call herself a crazed Tarheel fan for the rest of her days. Catherine loved the Episcopal Church and was an active member of Daughters of the King. She was an avid reader who quickly adapted to her Kindle. Catherine was preceded in death by her loving husband, Bart Willis, and her father, mother, brother Jack, and sister Jane. She is survived by three children, Jennifer Willis Bock (Richard) of Asheville, North Carolina; Elizabeth Willis Bright (Doug) of Nashville, Tennessee; and Bart Willis, Jr. (Michelle) of Sanford, North Carolina; and six grandchildren, Carson and Spencer Bock; Cole and Mary Elizabeth Cooper; and Emily and Connor Willis. A memorial service will be held at 11 am on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Asheville, North Carolina. The family will receive friends immediately following the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Catherine's favorite charity, the Carolina Day School Scholarship Fund, 1345 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, North Carolina 28803. Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Catherine was a loyal and devoted friend. Her faith in Christ was always an encouragement to me. My thoughts and prayers are with the family during this time of sorrow.

  2. I had the pleasure of working with Catherine in the years before she retired. I enjoyed her love of sports and admired her love of God, family, friends & her animals. I am thankful for knowing her, & will be praying for the family.

  3. What a blessing it was getting to know Mrs. Willis while she lived in Asheville. She was such a warm, loving presence and I looked so forward to our visits. I will always remember her smiling face and sunny dispositon, and her love for her children and grandchildren. She will be sorely missed.

  4. My deepest sympathies to the family. I enjoyed working with Catherine by way of the Tennessee Board of Regents/ Office of Technology Centers.

  5. I worked with Catherine at the Tennessee Board of Regents. I had the pleasure of chatting with her often. She was such a nice lady. She is missed. My thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.

  6. I had the pleasure of working with Catherine at the Tennessee Board of Regents. My thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time. I know she appreciated all the love and support you have provided.

  7. My thoughts and prayers are with Catherine’s family. I worked with Catherine during her tenure at Tennessee Board of Regents.

  8. Catherine was a joy to work with when she worked in the TTC office. May God bless her and her family during this difficult time.

  9. Jennifer,
    I am sad to learn of your mom’s death. I have wonderful memories of her during our time at Queens. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  10. Catherine & my parents lived across the hall from each other.
    Sure did enjoy getting to know Catherine. We’ve share many laughs and meals together.
    I so admired her zest for life and enthusiam. I’ll miss her.

  11. Your mother was a very special woman and will be missed by everyone who knew her. She fought her illness with courage and dignity and now she has found peace. I worked with your mother in Nashville, Praying for your family at this time.

  12. I knew Mrs. Catherine through the work she did at the TTC office for TN Board of Regents. She was always a pleasure to deal with and she liked to chat about her family. I am sorry for your loss.

  13. I am so sorry for your loss. Catherine was a friend of my parents, Roy and Annette Williams, at Crescent View. I will never forget the kindness and caring she showed for them. She was truly an extension of God’s love.

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