Irene Johnson Willyard

Irene Johnson Willyard, 97 of Cecilia, went to be with the Lord Friday, September 2, 2022 at her home. She was born March 14, 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio to the late Harley Johnson and Gola Ashlock Johnson. Irene attended grade school at the one-room Summit School now located at Freemans Lake, KY. She was a 1943 graduate of Lynnvale High School. After high school, she moved to Louisville to work in a factory building shell casing for the war effort. She later attended secretarial school learning shorthand and typing. Irene wed Charles Willyard October 1, 1948 in Louisville. They had 1 son, Dale Willyard born 1958 and resided on their farm in Howe Valley, KY. She worked in the agriculture office in Elizabethtown for over 30 years. In her spare time, she was an avid traveler visiting states coast to coast, the Bahamas, and Mexico. Irene attended Howe Valley Methodist Church for over 70 years. Through the years she was active in the church choir, taught Sunday school, acted as church treasurer, and often volunteered her time caring for the church and her church family. After retirement, Irene volunteered with the city government running polling booths. She also volunteered her time visiting nursing homes and sitting with sick or elderly patients. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles; her parents, Harley and Gola Johnson; and two brothers, Albert Johnson and Wilbur Johnson. Irene is survived by her son, Dale Willyard (Joanna) of Ailey, GA; three grandchildren, Rebecca Dees (Brandon), Charley Marie Hallock (Josh), and Connor Willyard (Anna); four great-grandchildren, Noah Willyard, Josephine Willyard, Hollis Dees, and Jacklyn Dees; and two brothers, Bobby Johnson and Donald Johnson. The funeral is Wednesday, September 7th at 2 p.m. at Howe Valley Methodist Church with Pastor John Meadors officiating. Burial follows in Howe Valley Cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Brown Funeral Home in Elizabethtown. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Howe Valley Methodist Church. Condolences may be expressed online at


Tuesday, September 6, 2022 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Brown Funeral Home


Wednesday, September 7, 2022 starting at 2:00 PM
Howe Valley Methodist Church

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