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Mary Evelyn Willard

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Mary Evelyn Willard

Mary Evelyn Willard Fort died on Friday, March 28. She was born on May 13, 1925 in Lascassas, TN and was a graduate of Tennessee College for Women in Murfreesboro. She was employed by the Education Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and Lifeway Christian Services (formerly Baptist Sunday School Board), from which she retired. Evelyn married George Fort of Clarksville, TN on Sept. 2, 1949 and they were a loving couple until his death in 1999.

A charter member with her husband of Brook Hollow Baptist Church, she was a member of the Tennessee College Alumnae Association, Belmont University Auxiliary, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, International Chapter PEO Sisterhood and Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

Evelyn grew beautiful roses and kept an immaculate home; had a lovely singing voice; made the best twice-baked potatoes and blackberry cobbler; and enjoyed poetry and traveling throughout the U.S. and abroad with her husband. She was known to the end for her beautiful hair, spirited personality and classic attire. She loved the Lord and believed in His love throughout her life, especially during the darker hours of her recent health struggles.

She is predeceased by her beloved husband, George; her parents, Roy and Nannie Willard; and her daughter-in-law, Debbie Fort. She is survived by her son, George W. Fort, of Franklin, TN ; her daughter, Ellen Fort of Raleigh, NC; three grandchildren, Jonathan Fort Grissett (Patricia) of Brighton, England; Byran Fort (Mallory) of Franklin, TN; and Megan Clare Grissett of New York City, NY; sister-in-law Margaret Meggs of Springfield, TN; brother-in-law John Fort (Elizabeth) also of Springfield; two nieces, Myra Fort Leathers (Rowan) of Nashville and Margaret Meggs (Mark Seiffert) of Havre, MT; and two nephews, Fort Meggs of Knoxville, TN and John Meggs (Linda) of Charlottesville, VA.

To honor and celebrate Evelyn's life, Rev. Thomas Gholson will conduct a memorial service at Brook Hollow Baptist Church on Monday, March 31st at 3 p.m. Visitation will be held from 2 p.m. until time of the service. Honorary pallbearers are the George Fort Sunday School Class. She will be buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Clarksville.

Memorial contributions may be made to Brook Hollow Baptist Church, 678 Brook Hollow Rd., Nashville, TN 37205, PEO Tennessee Chapter ( or Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, 1200 Forrest Park Dr., Nashville, TN 37025.

Sign online guestbook at, (615) 377-0775

Published in The Leaf Chronicle on Mar. 30, 2014
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