Willises to get Spirit award

Published 2:24 am Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Opp and Covington County Area Chamber of Commerce will recognize Charles and Noreta Willis with its Spirit of Opportunity award during its annual Membership and Hall of Fame Banquet on Thursday, May 9, 2019, at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Center at 6:30 P. M.

Mr. and Mrs. Willis were both born and reared on farms in West Tennessee. Their parents were God-fearing people who taught them the value of hard work and to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Both natives of West Tennessee where they were reared on farms, the Willises met while working in a clothing factory, and married in 1956.

The Willises moved to Opp in 1994 where Charles was the general manager of Covington Industries until late in 1998, and Mrs. Willis was an active member of the Hoe and Spade Garden Club. In 1999, they decided to become foster parents and are still active in this work today. They have fostered more than 70 children and have had one to three children in their home for more than 10 years of that period. Willis has been a trainer of foster parents since 2002 and continues to serve in this training capacity assisting hundreds of people in becoming foster parents. They are both active in the Covington County Foster Parents Association where he serves as president.

In addition to playing an active role in the Foster Parents Association, the Willises have been diligent members of many other clubs and organizations.

Willis worked with the Down Town Redevelopment Authority for several years, and he now serves on the Utility Board of Opp.  He is currently the chairman of the board for the Opp Housing Authority.  Both have both been committed members of the Frank Jackson Trail Masters since its inception.

Since the early years of their marriage, the Willises have been diligent workers in the Church of Christ. Both have taught classes and served in benevolence programs.

Willis has made nine mission trips to Guyana, South America. He has also served more than 30 years as an Overseer (Elder) in Opp and Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Serving God first, family, and others has always been their motto.  Charles and Noreta echo the thought, “Be active and involved in church and community, and you will notice that it only takes a short time to grow old.”