Willie Lena Bow - sq-s

Willie Lena Bow

November 11, 1914 - April 6, 2018

Willie Lena Reynolds Bow was born November 11, 1914, to Claud and Saphronia Houston Reynolds near Bells, Texas. Her parents had migrated from Kentucky and Arkansas to Texas as children. She was the third of nine children, Ethel Rodgers, Mabel McCarter, Cecil Reynolds, Floyd Reynolds, Jessie Mae Guthrie, Maribelle Dlugosh, Doris Cunningham, and Floyce Hansen. She was named for her Uncle William and a character in a book that her mother had read, Lena Rivers. She attended school in Ida, Texas.

Willie loved the U. S. flag and was very patriotic. Perhaps because 4 years after she was born, her birthday became known as Armistice Day and flags were always displayed.
She loved rainbows and insisted she saw the end of one in a creek as a child; her bell collection, and books. Her family contributed to her bell and book collection.

She married Ned Ayres in 1934; they had 4 children, James Reynolds Ayres, Jack L. Ayres, Marcus A. Ayres, and Judy Ayres Simpson. They owned and operated Ayres Cafe; after Ned’s death in 1961, she attended nursing school at age 48 and became an LVN. She worked at Whitewright Nursing Home and retired from Wilson N. Jones Hospital in 1983. She later married Paul Cornelius in 1964 and gained 2 stepdaughters, Margie Hayes and Faye Flowers. After his death in 1978, she married Henry Albert (Red) Bow in 1982 and gained a niece, Foy Jean Cate, who has been her personal hairdresser for many years, and a nephew, O. G. Bow.

Willie was the oldest member of the First United Methodist Church of Whitewright where she served as teacher of the Martha Sunday School Class for many years, succeeding her beloved mentor, Lucyle Sanders.

Her life was greatly influenced by hard farm work as she grew up and her Grandma Houston, who had made 3 trips on horseback between Arkansas and Texas on cattle drives as a teenager. This contributed to her “can do” attitude.

She is survived by son and daughter-in-law, Jack and Nelda Ayres of Austin, and daughter, Judy Simpson of Whitewright, with whom she lived; daughters-in-law Gertrude Ayres and Jane Ayres Keele, both of Denison; grandchildren Kayla Mills of Denton; Darren Ayres of Pearland, Kerri Chambers of Austin; Dana Jones of Leander; Leann Ayres of Austin; Janette Haddock of Denison; Mark Simpson of Melissa; and David Simpson of Whitewright; 16 great grandchildren and 16 great-great grandchildren, and a host of nieces and nephews, extended family and friends. She was preceded in death by 2 sons, James Ayres and Marc Ayres, son-in-law Milton Simpson, her parents and 8 siblings.

Funeral Services will by held Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 11:00 AM at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Chapel, Whitewright, Texas. Rev. Doyle Henderson and Rev. Aubrey Jones will officiate. Interment will follow at Pilot Grove Cemetery, Whitewright, Texas.
The family will receive friends for a visitation from 10:00 AM until service time at 11:00 AM.

Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Whitewright.
The family wishes to thank the many home health workers and medical staff who have cared for her over her long life.

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Aunt Willie will be missed by so many.  She was always a pleasure to visit with and provide stories that would just make you smile and laugh.  She was a kind, caring person and the last of her generation.  She is now reunited with my mom and all her siblings.  There are definitely more smiles and storytelling in heaven now.  Love, EJ & Karen Dlugosh
EJ Dlugosh, April 10, 2018 I remember her fondly she became my grandmother when she married Paul Cornelius. She was always very kind to me, and my brother and sister. Chris Hayes, April 8, 2018 We are sorry for your loss. Our love to you and your family. We love you. Markham and Brenda. Markham and Brenda Patton, April 8, 2018 Judy and family, Philip and I are very sorry to hear of Mrs. Bow's passing. We're thinking of all of you and praying for God's blessings and peace for you and your family. Sylvia Moore, April 8, 2018 I regret that I have not kept in touch with my Texas family as I should!
David Cunningham, April 8, 2018 Judy and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Ms Willie was a great example to all of us. Praying you feel God's love and comfort in the days ahead. Patsy McFatridge, April 7, 2018 I have so many wonderful memories of her. She always made me feel special from the time I spent with her and Uncle Ned at the Ayres Cafe to the phone conversations we had the last several years. She always asked me questions about my family and how they were doing. She loved her family. She was very special lady.....just thinking about her brings a smile to my face! Cecil Reynolds-nephew, April 7, 2018 Judy & family, Keeping you all in thoughts & prayers at this time. Sincerely Mary Ann Mary Ann Starnes, April 7, 2018 Aunt Willie outlasted them all! What a strong, tough lady. I'll always admire her and her generation. Craig Hansen, April 7, 2018