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Willene Evans Rickert
Dunbar Funeral Home
Willene Evans Rickert
SYLVANIA -- Willene Evans Rickert, age 93, passed away October 13, 2018, at Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge Hospital in Columbia, S.C. Her parents were Willie Woods Evans and Lena Brantley Evans of Screven County, Georgia.
    Willene was a member of Sylvania First Baptist Church and of the Virginia Sunday School Class. For many years, she was an active member of Women's Missionary Union, working with different age groups, including children through adults.
    There were fond memories of growing up on the family farm near Newington, Georgia. Willene graduated from Newington High School and was valedictorian of her class. Afterwards, she became a student at Bessie Tift College in Forsyth, Georgia. On the evening of her graduation from college, she received the alumni award for Most Outstanding Creative Work of the Year.
    She believed that gifts and talents have been bestowed on different ones by the Heavenly Father and that these should be used not only for our benefit and enjoyment, but especially to bring honor and glory to God, who gave them, and to be a blessing to others.
    While a college student, Willene met her future husband, Harold Russel Rickert, who was serving in the U.S. Army during World War II and stationed for a while at Camp Wheeler in Macon, Georgia. Harold was from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was while at Camp Wheeler that a group of soldiers and their chaplain visited the college on a special occasion. Harold was later sent to Swindon, England, and served as a chaplain assistant in the Army. After the war, Harold return to the states and continued his education and preparation for the Baptist ministry. He and Willene were married in her home church, North Newington Baptist, July 27, 1947, and were married for almost 59 years.
    After graduating from college, Willene was a high school English teacher at Baxley, Georgia, and Waynesboro, Georgia. She was later a piano teacher at Yatesville High School. She continued to teach piano students throughout the years and was pianist or organist for a number of churches.
    She was preceded in death by her parents, Willie Wood and Lena Brantley Evans; as well as her husband, Harold Russel Rickert.
    She is survived by her daughter, Merrilyn Rickert Sease; her grandchildren, Angela (Zebulon) Reid and Russel (Jaclyn) Sease; great-grandchildren, Zoe and Zarek Reid and Jackson, Elon and Gordon Sease; her sister, Mary Wilma Wells; and nieces, Margo Metts, Lynn Sheppard.
    The funeral service will be held at Dunbar Funeral Home Chapel, Dutch Fork Chapel, on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, at 4 p.m. with the Rev. Paul Allen of Chapin Methodist Church officiating. A graveside service will be held at North Newington Baptist Church Cemetery, located at 11572 Newington Highway, Newington, GA 30446, on October 17, 2018, at 3 p.m. with Dr. Charles Cooper of Sylvania First Baptist Church officiating.
    Remembrances, in memory of Willene Evans Rickert, may be made to Sylvania First Baptist Church at 214 South Main Street, Sylvania GA 30467.
    Memories may be shared at www.dunbarfunerals.com.

Statesboro Herald, October 16, 2018
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