Former Longview councilwoman dies at 76

Former Longview councilwoman dies at 76
Longview News-Journal

POSTED: Monday, July 16, 2012 - 10:33am

UPDATED: Monday, July 16, 2012 - 10:44am

Longview lost one its staunchest allies Sunday.

Those who knew her, and many did, said they could visualize Sidney Bell Willis singing in heaven’s choir, teaching angels how to enunciate properly and, most likely, championing others.

Willis, 76, who served as District 3 city councilwoman from 2002 until 2011, died Sunday surrounded by family after an extended illness.

“She was what I call a trailblazer for justice, for education and human rights,” said Kasha Williams, District 3 councilwoman. “Mrs. Willis was involved in so many things in the community.”

Before she represented south side neighborhoods on the City Council, Willis was an educator. When she ran for political office in 2002, she was a retired teacher of 43 years with Longview Independent School District.

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