Willie Lee Hart, better known as Brother Will, Kool Breeze, Daddy, and of course PawPaw, was born October 13th 1954 in Poplarville, MS to Tommy Lee and Almeta Hart. Willie was the only son in a family of five sisters. When their father passed away in 1985, he proudly accepted the role of “Man of the House”. His sisters describe him as being the boss, as he felt that he was always right.
Willie was baptized at an early age at Triumph Missionary Baptist Church by the late Rev. R.S. Shelby. He attended Todd Memorial Elementary and Poplarville Highschool where he excelled in his roles as a track star, half back, full back, and a running back. He was proud to represent for the undefeated Poplarville Hornets in 1973. Willie graduated from high school in 1973 and moved to Portland, OR to begin his 43 year career with the ESCO Corporation. While at ESCO he worked as a shell caster and molder, but the most important things he built were lifelong friendships.
On August 12, 1974 Willie married his bride Roann Hart of Picayune, MS. From this union two beautiful daughters were born, Stephanie Ann Hart-Coleman and Dr. Manerva Jeanette Hart. While married, Willie found pleasure in traveling, dragon boat racing during the Rose Festival and bowling. He could often be found at Grand Central, Interstate Lanes, or Hollywood Bowl.
When not with friends Willie could be found working in the yard or doing various home repairs. There was no project he wouldn’t tackle. He was always there to lend a helping hand, and always ready for a good meal. A Dallas Cowboys football game could be heard playing from the den, a Curtis Mayfield track, or Mighty Clouds of Joy would fill the air on many occasions. What he loved most was being with his grandchildren and being their substitute teacher. He seemed to light up whenever they were near and let them get away with things that his children never could.
To cherish his memories he leaves two daughters Stephanie (Robert) Coleman of Portland, OR and Manerva (Andre) Hart of Southern California; 10 grandchildren Xavier, Giorgio, Robert III, Niasia, Nehemiah, Aleeyah, Isaiah, Laylah, Amiyah, and Nia; 5 great grandchildren Josh, Isaac, Giomani, Ayla, and Sincere; 5 sisters Patricia (Jerry) McClyde, and Dorothy Hart of Portland, OR, Carolyn Smith, Hester Henry, and Kathy (Nelson) Smith of Poplarville, MS. A special friend Charlle Griffith of Jackson, MS.
Willie was preceded in death by parents Tommy Lee and Almeta Hart, grandmother Willie Ann (Elmon) Lewis, Uncles Joe Dawson and John Bolton, cousin Carlton Dawson, nephew, Jkilo Jordan and wife of 38 years, Roann Hart.
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