Rochester, NY – April 27, 2023: Willen was born July 8, 1938, to Lula Mae Howell in South Carolina. She was the eldest of two children. Willen is predeceased by her mother, Lula Mae Howell; grandmother, Gertrude Wilson; uncles, Willie Brock, Freddie Brock, Levery Brock, and Grady Wilson; aunt, Myrtle Brock; grandson, Jerreail McLeod II.
She is survived by her loving daughter, Jannie Howard; son, Jerreail McLeod Sr.; sister, Dorothy Boyd; grandsons, Charles L. Howard, Terreail McLeod, Andrew (Sanika) Bynoe; granddaughters, Cherise R. Howard, Ashiya McLeod, Nicara McLeod; 12 great-grandchildren; nephews; nieces, and a host of family and friends.
Although we knew her as Mommy, she was also known as Ms. Willy to coworkers; she worked as a parts assembler at Eastman Kodak until she retired in 1993. Her favorite pastime was fishing at Sodus Point, The Thousand Islands, and anywhere she could cast her bamboo poles. Willen enjoyed traveling on I-95 South to go home and good down-home cooking. She was an enthusiastic fan of soap operas, specifically, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, and General Hospital. She was equally a fan of wrestling and attended WWE events whenever possible. Willen was the life of every party and knew just what to say to make you feel special. Her heart was full of love, and she was a fierce protector of those she considered family. She spread love and laughter wherever she went and touched many people’s hearts. She will undoubtedly be missed but never forgotten.
Willen was blessed with many close friends and family. A special fishing buddy Deloris Clark. Special close friends Sherey Foy, Minnie Thomas, and Gracie Hill were like daughters to her—a special thank you to her caretaker and friend Shannon Badgley. Your compassionate care brought joy into her life and our lives.
Willen’s service will be held Monday, May 8, at 10:00 AM at Rochester Cremation, 1118 Long Pond Rd, Rochester (Greece), NY 14626.