HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Willa Harriett Bishop Horton Blakey, 83, of Vandalia, formerly of Hannibal, died Monday (Oct. 28, 2013) while in St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, following a recent series of hospitalizations.
Born and raised in Vandalia, Mo., Mrs. Blakey was a resident of Hannibal, Mo., for more than 50 years. She attended public schools in Vandalia and Mexico, Mo., and attended Gem City College in Quincy, Ill.
She was born on Aug. 24, 1930, to William McKinley Bishop and Arabella Weir Bishop, both of whom have preceded her in death. She was first married to Hilary A. Horton Jr., who preceded her in death, from which two children were born in Montgomery, Ala.: Jacqueline E. Horton of St. Louis and Brenda Joyce Horton Lue of Kansas City, Mo. She later married James E. Blakey, a long-term resident of Hannibal, who also preceded her in death and to that union one son was born: James B. Blakey.
Mrs. Blakey worked in a variety of positions throughout most of her lifetime. Her adult working career began when she was only 16 years old when she washed dishes at Whals Hotel in Louisiana, Mo., for two years.
While living in Montgomery, Ala., she worked as a waitress and as a cashier at Adams Cafe before returning to her hometown in Vandalia. She worked at the Vandalia Hotel for several years as a cook and a housekeeper, and she also worked for the Ely Walker Garment Factory in Vandalia.
She was a supervisor over cleaning at the Maple Grove Nursing Home in Louisiana, Mo., and she worked for the Louisiana Plastics Factory.
She worked in a variety of jobs during her employment at American Safety Equipment Corp., a factory located in Palmyra.
While living in Hannibal, she worked at Master Tank & Welding Co. in Hannibal for five years. She worked at Luther Manor Retirement and Nursing Center; she worked at Beth Haven Group Homes; and she worked part-time at Beth-Haven Group Homes as a cook and housekeeper for 10 years.
Willa's last job was a part-time cleaning position with KHMO Radio station in Hannibal.
Surviving are Mrs. Blakey's three children, Jacqueline E. Horton of St. Louis; Brenda Joyce Horton Lue of Kansas City, Mo., and James B. Blakey of Quincy. Also surviving are three grandchildren, Steven Horton of Phoenix, Ariz., Jamal Horton of Grandview, and Mariss Blakey of Quincy; and two great-grandchildren, Erin Elizabeth Frazier of Kirksville, and Izan Almansa Perez of Murcia, Spain, all of whom she loved very dearly.
SERVICES: 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the Waters Funeral Home, 4500 S. Main, Vandalia, with the Rev. Richard Mayson conducting. Burial will be in Vandalia Cemetery immediately following the services.
VISITATION: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the Waters Funeral Home, Vandalia.
ARRANGEMENTS: Waters Funeral Home, Vandalia.