Mary Frances “Willie” Williams Greene, 74, admired for her witty sense of humor

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WILMINGTON — Mary Frances “Willie” Williams Greene, 74, died Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016, after a courageous battle with cancer. Her last days were spent surrounded by family and friends, who enjoyed many, many fond memories of her.

She is survived by her husband, James “Roe” Greene of Wilmington, N.C.; son, John-David Powell, and his wife, Alice Powell, and grandchildren Jacob-Christopher Powell and Alyssa Powell of Winterville, N.C.; son, Norman Allen Powell, and his wife, Michelle Powell, and grandson, Cody Allen Powell of Wilmington, N.C.; sister, Eva Jeanette Owens of Albuquerque, N.M.; brothers, Lathan Williams Jr., and his wife, Fran Williams, of Farmville, N.C., and Charles Williams, and his wife, Mary Williams, of Statesville, N.C.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Lathan Eugene Williams and Ethel Taylor Williams; and sister, Carol Williams Lesley.

Born in Concord, N.C., she grew up knowing no strangers. At age 21, she entered the service of the U.S. Air Force and was honorable discharged having obtained the rank of airman second class. In addition to her U.S. Air Force service, she served the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Coast Guard in a civilian capacity. She married U.S. Force CWO-4 Raymond Powell and began her family with two sons.

In time, she returned to North Carolina after living in multiple stations in the U.S. and abroad. In Wilmington, she helped care for her parents and eventually remarried. She and her husband “Roe” enjoyed many travels abroad and across the U.S. She enjoyed traveling; the beach; reading, author David L. Robbins was a particular favorite; many things European, especially Paris and the Eiffel Tower; the color yellow; fluffy clouds; arboretums; and technology. In short, she loved all aspects of life. Her personality was full and vivacious. Not knowing a stranger and her witty sense of humor often made her the center of many social gatherings. She was always generous with her time and always made sure that those around her were taken care of.

A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22, at Coble Ward-Smith Funeral Home with the Rev. Melvin Hall officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow in Oleander Memorial Gardens with military honors.

In lieu of flowers, the family at her request, asks individuals to “pay it forward” with acts of kindness; or make a donation to Lower Cape Fear Hospice, who were so dignified in their care of her.