Esther Lee Willis Rattz, age 72, of Sanford, passed away on Saturday, September 17, 2022, at First Health Hospice House surrounded by family.
She was born in Morehead City on December 26, 1949, to the late Earl Thompson Willis and Mable Ramona Lawrence Willis. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Clayborn Earl Rattz; brother, Earl Thompson Willis, Jr, brother, Carter Ray Willis, stepson, Timothy Edward Rattz.
Esther Lee is survived by daughter, Catherine “Kay” Willis of Sanford; two stepdaughters, Kathy Rattz Thomas and husband Mike of Broadway and Belinda Rattz Holt and husband, Ralph of Olivia; stepson, Clayborn Michael Rattz of Sanford; eleven grandchildren; twenty great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
A piece of Esther Lee’s heart always remained back home down east, and she cherished going back for visits to Otway, Stacy, Crab point, and surrounding areas. More than visiting home she loved all her grandchildren and spending time with them. She loved to pack up the grandkids and hit the road to a bookstore or the beach. Esther loved the salt air and sand under her feet. Her gift to her family was a love of reading and an appreciation for books. She was active in Girl Scouts for many years as a leader or co-leader. She was a member and attended Faith Bible Church in Sanford.
The family will receive friends on Monday, September 26, 2022, from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM at Bridges-Cameron Funeral Home, 600 Main Street Sanford NC. A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, at 11:00 AM at Lee Memory Gardens, 2600 Hawkins Ave, Sanford NC, with Pastor Nicholas C. Smiley officiating.
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