Willard Lee Hankins

Willard Lee Hankins

Willard Lee Hankins

Willard Lee Hankins of Chatham, went to be with his Lord on Sunday, February 8, 2009.

He died at his home after a brief illness.

Born on August 12, 1934, in Pittsylvania County, Willard was the son of Edward “Buck” and Myrtle Hankins.

Willard was a graduate of Spring Garden High School (Class of 1952) and attended two years of Danville Technical College before beginning his career with Chatham Oil Company (Davenport Energy). He later founded and operated Southland Oil Company of Blairs, for many years.

While Southland Oil was his business, Willard's heart was always on the farm on Chalk Level Road where he was the happiest chasing cows, making hay and mending fences with his brothers. A part time farmer and cattleman, Willard was an avid outdoorsman. He loved his bird dogs, hunting quail and grouse and fishing for small mouth bass on the James and Tye Rivers.

Willard loved music and singing in the choir of Chatham Baptist Church and was especially happy at holidays when his children and grandchildren would gather and play and sing music.

Willard was a member of the Chatham Baptist Church and the Truett Sunday School Class and a 50 year member of the Carter Masonic Lodge Number 323 where he was the youngest Master of the Lodge, and the Chatham Royal Arch Chapter Number 56.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 54 years, Betsy Bishop Hankins; a son Steven L. Hankins and his wife, Jacqueline Hankins of West Chester, Ohio; three daughters Beth Anderson and her husband, Phillip Anderson of Roanoke, Laura Adcock of Chatham, and Betsy Lynne Maynard and her husband, Jeff Maynard of Wake Forest, N.C.; five grandchildren, Benjamin Anderson of Williamsburg, Jordan Anderson of Auburn, Ala., William Anderson of Knoxville, Tenn., Katharine Hankins and Nathan Hankins of West Chester, Ohio; two step-grandchildren Forest and Rachel Maynard of Wake Forest, N.C.; four brothers Harold D. Hankins of Blacksburg, Stanley B. Hankins of Greensboro, North Carolina, J. Ryland Hankins of Chatham, Robert D. Hankins of Chatham; two sisters, Cecil Hankins Montgomery of Tacoma, Wash., and Hilda Christian of Roanoke; numerous nephews and nieces and lifelong friend and hunting companion William "Deadeye" Harris.

He was predeceased by his mother and father, Edward “Buck” Hankins and Myrtle Hankins, two brothers, William A. Hankins and Thomas E. Hankins and one sister, Minnie H. Todd.

Funeral service will be held at Chatham Baptist Church on Wednesday, February 11, at 11:00 a.m. with the Reverend Charles Warnock III presiding. Burial with Masonic Rites will be at Hillcrest Burial Park.

The family will receive friends at Scott Funeral Home, Chatham, on Tuesday evening, February 10, between 7:00 and 8:30 p.m.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory be made to the Chatham Rescue Squad of Chatham.

Scott Funeral Home in Chatham is respectfully serving the Hankins family.

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