Local educator passes away at the age of 50

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A longtime Covington County educator passed away suddenly last week just prior to the beginning of the new school year.

Vivian Edwards Willis

Vivian Edwards Willis, 50, died on Friday, August 4 after complications from a surgery she had undergone several months ago.

Known to many of her students as “Mrs. V,” Willis worked many years as a paraprofessional in the Covington County School System before joining the Andalusia City School System in 2019 where she served as a special education teacher and was set to coach girls’ basketball during the upcoming season.

“Our Bulldog family was heartbroken to hear of the passing of our beloved teacher, Mrs. Vivian Willis. The faculty, staff, students, and parents will miss her terribly, and we send our love and prayers to her family and friends. Although we despair at our loss, we gain strength from the life she lived and the love she shared with all she encountered. We give thanks for Vivian Willis, the unique, extraordinary, and irreplaceable Mrs. V., whose beauty, both inside and out, will live on in our hearts forever,” stated an AHS Facebook post.

Willis was a resident of Opp and a 1990 graduate of Opp High School.

In addition to her work with local schools, Willis also served many years as a coach for Covington County youth sports.

“She was without a doubt the most positive, upbeat, Godly person I have ever met. It was impossible to have a bad day with her around. She spread love and cheer wherever she went, always thinking of others. Even in her darkest day, she was a bright and shining light for others. She made me want to be a better person and the world is a little darker without her in it,” Red Level School Principal Tony Ingram said.

Funeral services for Willis will be Saturday, August 12, 1 p.m, at Nazareth Missionary Baptist Church, located at 103 Church St. in Opp. Repass will be held immediately after.

Visitation will be Friday, August 11, 5 to 7 p.m., at Coleman Funeral Home, located at 2011 Hickman Ave. in Elba.