Peggy Bailey Willis was born in Columbus County on November 12, 1943. She died at Columbus Regional Medical Center on Thursday, May 18, 2023. She was the daughter of Annie Bell Long and Obie Bailey and the stepdaughter of Edward Green who she always thought of and referred to as "Daddy." She was highly intelligent. She graduated from Hallsboro High School in 1962 and Pembroke University in 1966. She loved children and young people and began her career as a high school teacher in Pembroke, North Carolina where she taught school for a few years. She returned to Columbus County in 1973 and worked with both Columbus County Mental Health and the Whiteville Police Department as a mental health therapist. After supporting him through law school, she later worked for many years with her husband , Mike Willis, as a paralegal and office manager. She knew as much (and likely more) about the law than her husband and would just once-in-a-while try to help others when her husband was too busy by "practicing a little law without a license" pro-bono. She was also a gifted poet who published a book of poetry entitled "Feelings of the Heart" in 2005. You would greatly honor her by accepting a free copy of her book when you come to her visitation and/or funeral service.
Peggy was a loving person who never met a stranger. She would strike up a conversation with anyone she met, and she looked on all people the same, no matter how others viewed them. She was never pretentious, and she had a soft spot in her heart for anyone in need. She was generous with her time and resources, and she loved to help organize events. She would talk on the telephone, sometimes for hours, with people who were troubled or just needed to vent and who knew Peggy would listen to them without being judgmental. She always had a smile for everyone she met. In short, she was a very special gift from God to her husband and to all who knew her. She is now resting in the arms of Jesus with those loved ones who have gone before her, and she will be greatly missed and mourned by everyone who remain here.
She was predeceased by her parents and stepfather and by her brother Freddie Bailey. She leaves to cherish her wonderful memory her husband of almost 49 years, Mike Willis of Hallsboro, her sister-in-law who she considered to be her sister, Jane Bailey of Ocean Isle Beach, her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Dan and Marsha Willis of Bowling Green, Kentucky, her 104-year-old mother-in-law, who thought of her as the daughter she never had, Lois Willis of Bowling Green, Kentucky, her three wonderful nephews Brian Bailey, Shane Bailey and Sam Willis, a special "daughter" Natasha Beth Reynolds Dry and several other young people who she loved and tried to help raise, a special angel-friend and care-giver, Sandy McGirt of Hallsboro, and by 7 cats and 3 dogs, her favorite dog of which she named "Tiggart Tallulah Willis."
Peggy's funeral service will be conducted by the Rev. Mike MacDonald, pastor of Hallsboro United Methodist Church, at the McKenzie Mortuary Chapel on Monday, May 22, 2023 at 2:00 PM. Burial will follow at the Pierce Cemetery in Hallsboro. Visitation for her family and many friends will be held at the McKenzie Mortuary Chapel prior to the funeral service from 12:30 pm until 1:45 pm.
In lieu of flowers, you may wish to consider making a gift to a worthwhile charitable cause. That would be pleasing to Peggy.