Temple Yancey, 78, of Hannibal, MO, died at 10:43 a.m., Saturday, October 15, 2022, at The Neighborhoods by Tiger Place in Columbia, MO.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, October 22, 2022, at James O’Donnell Funeral Home in Hannibal, MO. Reverend Brian Baker will officiate.
Interment will follow at Grand View Burial Park in Hannibal, MO.
Friends and family are invited to the celebration of Temple life during a visitation which will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday, October 21, 2022, at the funeral home.
Virginia “Temple” Willis Yancey was born on August 2, 1944 in Mexico City, MO to Joseph Temple Willis and Ada Virginia Pasley Willis.
She married John Elton Yancey on December 21, 1974 in Auxvasse, MO, and together they made a happy, lively and loving home in Hannibal, MO for nearly 48 years. He survives and still resides in Hannibal.
Other survivors include his four children, Gretchen Lea Yancey (James Evans) of Columbia, MO, Gabrielle Lynn Pruett (Josiah) of Hannibal, MO, Timothy Craig Yancey (Jeannie) of St. Louis, MO, and Jana Yancey Emory ( Bryan) of Nixa, MO; two sisters, Peggy Martin (Wayne) and Jeanette Davis; a sister-in-law, Marja Willis; and her grandchildren: Grace Yancey Rogers, Faith Yancey Rogers and Ian Pruett; Brandi (Emory) Gump and Brad Emory; and Holly Mattox and Niles Mattox.
Temple was predeceased by her parents; and a brother, James Willis.
Temple was a kindergarten teacher. She taught for many years at New London Elementary School and later at Veterans Elementary School from where she retired. Temple loved his students and teaching them to read was his passion. Even after her retirement, she continued to teach in a substitute capacity and was a frequent volunteer guest reader at local schools.
She told stories like no other and entertained many! Temple was often invited into classrooms to tell stories, traveled to festivals to share stories, and delighted her children, their friends, and grandchildren with her lively voices and creativity. While Temple was raising her daughters, she served as a scout leader for Gretchen and Gabrielle’s troops. She has also volunteered her time and supported the work of the local Girl Scout council in the Becky Thatcher area. She and John were very active in Marion County Democratic politics. Temple served on the Central Committee, was appointed to the Judicial Appeals Board by Governor Mel Carnahan, and she also volunteered as a poll worker during her retirement years. In retirement, Temple also found joy in painting. As with everything she has done, she has gone all out with her artwork and explored a variety of mediums and subjects. It was yet another way for her to express her creativity, and many of her paintings now hang in the homes of her children and grandchildren.
Generous and welcoming, a teacher and “mom” to so many, Temple had a knack for making everyone feel welcome. No one has ever left home hungry. She was a delicious cook and baker, famous for the best apple pies; on Christmas Eve, she religiously made her mother’s fried oysters, a tradition she shared with her daughters and grandchildren. During the winter months, she hosted countless children at her house to warm up with hot chocolate after sledding or to throw their wet clothes in the dryer. She endured a flood of children coming in and out of the house and she welcomed them all. Many of the girls’ friends had a close relationship with Temple throughout their teenage years, as she was a great listener, supporter, and advisor. Temple will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Raised in the Presbyterian tradition as a youth at Auxvasse Presbyterian Church, Temple later became an active member of Fifth Street Baptist Church in Hannibal, MO. Temple volunteered many hours at the church, spending time at Vacation Bible School, participating in toy and food drives, and giving generously when people were in need.
The pallbearers will be James Evans, Josiah Pruett, Ian Pruett, Bryan Emory, Lynn Pasley and Joe Frese. The honorary bearer will be Tim Yancey.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Ralls County Elementary School Library.