Life was filled with love for her Lord, family, and friends. It is an impossible task to commemorate this life into words. There are not enough words or enough pages to adequately capture the essence and spirit of Willa Marie Whitehurst Salley.
Willa Marie Whitehurst Salley, 100, widow of the late Cecil McCloud Salley, passed away on Saturday, June 20, 2020 at Shadow Oaks Assisted Living Community. We are proud to celebrate her life. We cry tears of loss as The Author of Life has brought home a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and great-great grandmother, church member, neighbor, and friend. We cry tears of joy for the Lord has called home one of His own, welcoming her with open arms crying, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Willa was born on January 20, 1920 in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the daughter of the late Yarnell Delaney Whitehurst and Edith Melissa Pickens Whitehurst. She was the second of five children born to the late Yarnell Delaney Whitehurst and Edith Melissa Pickens Whitehurst. In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by a sister and brother, Duluth Whitehurst Holland and John Oliver Whitehurst, sons-in-law, G. Paul Cude, Sr. and Edward “Boozie” Moseley, as well as two grandsons G. Paul Cude, Jr. and Patrick A. Cude.
Willa came into this world wide-eyed with wonder, a spirit of curiosity and creativity and a heart overflowing with compassion, kindness and joy. These God-given gifts imparted in infancy bloomed into a fragrance that only grew sweeter with maturity. Willa’s life was fragrant with her love for her family, her neighbors, friends, and her church community. She was a faithful member of Salley Baptist Church from the time she moved to Salley until she joined her new friends at The Place at Shadow Oaks.
Willa Salley was a very gregarious and happy daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and great-great grandmother. She enjoyed small town life in Salley, where she was the parts manager at Salley Tractor Company. She was a faithful member of Salley Baptist Church where she regularly attended church services, added her beautiful alto voice to the church choir and her faithful presence to both her Sunday School class and Mid-Week Prayer Services. Additionally she was a Garden Club member and a participant in both the ladies bridge club and couples bridge club. She was an avid and very competitive golfer. She regularly prepared gourmet meals which she loved to share, particularly with her family. In addition to her other activities, she enjoyed square dancing with her many friends.
After WWII, Willa’s husband, Cecil McCloud Salley, formed a partnership with his brothers H. Briggs Salley, Sr. and Olin J. Salley, who had owned an International Harvester Company dealership since 1926. Cecil became the general manager of the revised business, Salley Truck and Tractor Company, and Willa became the very efficient, highly respected parts manager. They also owned a farm in Orangeburg County which was eventually managed by their nephew Briggs Salley, Jr.. Following the deaths of Olin J. and H. Briggs, Sr., the business was renamed Salley Tractor Company. Cecil continued to serve as general manager and Willa continued to serve as parts manager. Their Orangeburg County farm has continuously been managed by their nephew, Briggs Salley, Jr.
In 1976, Cecil and Willa retired and joined the Airstream Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI) and the Palmetto State S.C. Unit of WBCCI and traveled extensively with their Airstream Travel Trailer. They enjoyed spending the winter months in their trailer at Travelers Rest Resort, north of Tampa, FL., a tradition that Willa continued until she became a resident of Shadow Oaks Assisted Living Community.
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. He gave Willa 100 years to faithfully reflect the goodness of her creator. In Willa, we have seen His unconditional love which she so generously exhibited to all around her. Willa was a reflection of His kindness and through her we also saw His gentleness and generosity. In Willa we witnessed His graciousness as she shared with those in need. Through Willa, we have beheld His gentleness; we have learned that the Lord is good. We have seen a reflection of the face of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She was a woman who understood the incredible gift of grace that had been bestowed on all who believe in our Heavenly Father. She experienced the redemption of her sins and restoration of her relationship with Jesus Christ through the sacrifice of her perfect and holy savior Jesus Christ, who joyfully and triumphantly welcomed her home with outstretched arms.
The family appreciates the attentive care given to Willa by Shadow Oaks Assisted Living Community and Regency Southern Care Hospice. She will be lovingly remembered by her three children, Cecilia Salley, Barbara (Lee) Cude Rayfield, and Edith Moseley; and her grandchildren, Craig (Kathy) Clamp, Calvin (Gail) Clamp, Clint (Julie) Cude, Michelle (Michael) Crouch, and Michael (Sarah Forbes) Rustad; great grandchildren, Blake (Emily) Clamp, Kelsey (Chandler) Blair, Cameron Clamp, Katie Clamp; and great-great grandchildren, Lila Dean Clamp, Ellery Blair, and Ellie Mae Blair. She is also survived by siblings Harmon (Mildred) Whitehurst, Opal Whitehurst Sharp, Austin (Peggy) Whitehurst, and Harvey (Billie Jean) Whitehurst.
Miss Willa, as she like to be called, has joined her beloved parents and husband as well as her sister, Duluth Whitehurst Holland, and brother, John Oliver Whitehurst, sons-in-law, G. Paul Cude, Sr. and Edward “Boozie” Moseley, as well as two grandsons G. Paul Cude, Jr. and Patrick A. Cude in eternal peace and rest.
The Proverbs 31 description of a worthy woman is a portrayal of Willa Salley. It describes an excellent woman as one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous. She brings food to her household and equips herself with spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given tasks. Willa Salley was such a lady who reached out her hands to the needy and attended to the needs of her family as well.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in honor of Willa Marie Whitehurst Salley may be directed to Salley Baptist Church, P.O. Box 442 Salley, SC 29137 or Regency Southern Care Hospice, 1690 University Parkway, Aiken SC 29801.
The family will honor Miss Willa’s life during a private funeral. Friends and family may view Miss Willa on Tuesday June 23, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the chapel of Blizzard Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Viewing will require wearing a face mask or face covering and Social Distancing will be in place for everyone's safety .
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Willa Marie (Whitehurst) Salley, please visit our floral store.
Salley Baptist Church
P. O. Box 442, Salley SC 29137