Willa was born in Bagnell, Missouri, on July 9, 1928, the daughter of Virgil Houston and Myrtle Anderson Houston Whitlock.
She attended Camdenton Elementary in Camdenton, Missouri and graduated from the Augusta High School in Augusta, Kansas.
On June 30, 1946, in Roach, Missouri at the Faith Bible Academy, Willa married Edward Preston Roe and to this union four children were born; Kenneth E., Peggy A., James D, and Wm Keith. Ed preceded her in death on February 11, 1980.
After marriage, Willa lived in Camdenton MO, Kansas City MO, Lamar MO, August KS, Emporia KS, Carbondale KS, and Topeka KS. While living in August KS, after 17 years of marriage, she returned to school and received her high school diploma with honors.
In 1968, Willa began employment with the Kansas Secretary of States Office as a clerk typist. In 1978, she was appointed to the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State - Corporations. She remained in that position until her retirement on November 17, 1993. She served under three Kansas Secretaries of State: Elwill Shanahan, Jack Brier and Bill Graves.
In 1994, Willa moved to Edina, Missouri to be near and daughter and son-in-law.
Her faith gave her resiliency during adversity including becoming a widow at age 51 and the loss of her home to a tornado in the early 1980's. She was actively involved in church during her life, and was a part of Life of Christ Church in Edina.
Willa loved to study the Bible and enjoyed teaching ladies Sunday School classes. She possessed a true servants heart, and could usually be found baking or in the kitchen cleaning up after a gathering. She loved to bake and a “Willa pie” was a well known item among her circle of friends and church family.
Willa enjoyed travel, having visited much of the United States, and was often found frequenting quilt shops in her travels. As she traveled, she also sought out shops in her search for piggy banks, with over 200 in her collection.
Willa is survived by her four children, Kenneth E. Roe of Topeka, Kansas, Peggy A. and her husband Dr. Robert Collinge of Edina, Missouri, James D. and his wife Marvene Roe of Wauneta, Nebraska and William “Keith” and his wife Anne Roe of Marietta, Georgia; a sister-in-law, Norma Houston of Camdenton, Missouri; a sister-in-law, Elizabeth Jaeger of Jefferson City, MO: Brothers-in-law Joe Roe of MO and Roy Roe of CA. Grandchildren are: Robert Roe, Christina Roe, Jason Roe, Ben Roe, Darren Roe, Ron Collinge, Rachelle Collinge, Brian Collinge, Tammy Walkowski, Amanda Douglas, Laura Blomstedt, Andy Roe (deceased), Isaiah Roe, Jacob Roe, Douglas Roe, and Allison Roe. Great grandchildren; Sydney Collinge (deceased), Mallory Collinge, Levi Collinge, Brendan Collinge, Ian Collinge, Jake Collinge, Daniel Roe, Job Collinge, Arch Collinge, Renzi Walkowski, Cheya Walkowski, Iara Walkowski, and Tryphena Douglas and a number of nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Edward P Roe: a grandson, Andy Roe, her brother, Virgil Houston, Jr. and a great granddaughter in infancy, Sydney Collinge.
Services will be at 11:00 a.m. Monday, May 13, 2013, at the Life of Christ Church in Edina, Missouri.
Visitation will be Sunday after 2:00 p.m. with the family receiving friends from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Doss Funeral Home in Edina, Missouri.
Burial will be in the Linville Cemetery in Edina, Missouri.
Pastor Tom Hutchens and Pastor John Bode will officiate and music will be provided by her daughter-in-law, Anne Roe and family.
Casket Bearers will include grandsons, great grandsons and church family.
An expression of sympathy in memory of Willa Roe may be left to the Life Church School, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Lifeline Pregnancy Center, or the organization of your choice. A memorial may be left at or mailed to the Doss Funeral Home 208 N. 4th Street, Edina, Missouri 63537.