TUPELO – Lori Teresa Willette passed away on Dec. 10, 2013, after a long and difficult battle with breast cancer
. Lori refused to give up her fight until she made it home to see her family and closest friends. Just a few short hours after arriving at Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo, Lori departed this life peacefully and moved on to be present with Christ.
Lori was born in Warner-Robins Air Force Base, Ga., on March 24, 1963, to John Haydock and Glenda McCool. Her family moved several times with the Air Force and eventually settled in Tupelo just after Lori finished high school. Lori was a sharp student and extremely creative. She graduated valedictorian of Charleston Heights Baptist Academy in Charleston, S.C., in the spring of 1980. She was the homecoming queen her senior year. She attended Itawamba Junior College, where she roomed with her lifelong best friend, Valerie Whitwell. Before having children, she was an assistant teacher at Church Street Elementary School. Lori loved interior design, faux painting and anything that involved creativity and innovation.
Lori's life was characterized by extreme loyalty to her family and friends. She was a great mom, deeply loved by both of her children. She taught her kids to be creative as well as to be nonconforming and independent. She also taught them to love reading and playing outside, and to love the Eagles. Those closest to Lori knew that she would sacrifice anything for them. In the end, with the help of her dedicated and selfless husband, Billy, she fought against intense pain and suffering just to say goodbye to those she loved one last time. Lori became a Christian at a young age, and, while she never doubted that Jesus was her only Hope, she learned to be truly dependent on the Lord through her struggle with cancer. To Him be the Glory.
Memorial services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, in Jefferson Street Chapel of W.E. Pegues with Barton Ramsey officiating.
Lori is survived by her husband, Billy Willette; two children, Barton Ramsey (Bethany) of Tupelo and Annelisa Ramsey of Chattanooga, Tenn.; stepson, Dylan Willette; and adopted daughter, Heather Chandler; two grandchildren, Naomi and Noah Ramsey; her parents, Glenda and Slick McCool, John and Merilla Haydock; one sister, Lisa Hunt (Hugh) of Dallas; lots of aunts, uncles, and nieces; and beloved Eastpoint, Fla., family, Shirley Barfield, Wendell Barfield Jr. and Charlie Barfield.
Lori was preceded in death by Wendell Barfield Sr.; and her grandparents, Rev. and Mrs. G C ""Bro"" Johnson, and Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Hall.
Visitation will be 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, at the funeral home.
Expressions of sympathy may be left at www.peguesfuneralhome.com.