March 12, 1931 – April 9, 2020
Rev. Sanford N. Willard, Sr., 89, transitioned into the next life Thursday, April 9, 2020.
A memorial service is tentatively scheduled for June 27, 2020 at Maple Avenue United Methodist Church in Marietta. The time and details are not available at this time.
Reverend Sanford N. Willard, Sr. was born March 12, 1931 to Sharecroppers Felix and Jessie Willard in Winder, Georgia. He was the youngest of seven children, born at home with no electricity, no running water and no heat; except during those long hot Georgia summers.
Rev. Willard answered the call into ministry in 1964. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University Of Georgia and his Master’s Degree in Divinity from Emory’s Candler School Of Theology, studying alongside his oldest son Mike. He was a full time pastor throughout the pursuit of his secondary education.
Reverend Willard pastored twenty one United Methodist Churches in the North Georgia Conference over the course of his life’s ministry. He was a true pastor, not just a preacher. He made everyone he met feel like they were the most important person in the world. He loved others like Christ loves him and led hundreds if not thousands to a personal relationship with his Savior! He is loved by so many here and in Heaven! We love you Papa and will miss you until we see you again! He was preceded in death by his parents, Felix and Jessie Willard; six brothers and sisters and one son, Phillip Davenport.
Reverend Willard is survived by his wife, Betty B. Willard and children Reverend Mike Willard and wife Shanon. Mike and Shanon have been long residents of Putnam County and have based their ministry here for 46 years. Rev. Willard’s other children are Rita Dorsey (Wayne), Anita Andrews, Christy Cotton (Ted), Reverend Keith Willard (Kathy), Sanford “Sandy” N. Willard, Jr. (Christi), Robert Willard, and daughter-in-law Debbie. He is also survived by eighteen grandchildren, two of whom are from Eatonton, Caleb Willard and Kelly (Nick Roth). He is also survived by twenty-five great grandchildren and one great great grandchild. He is also survived by brother-in-law John Martin of Monroe, and nephews Raymond Doster and Doug Willard of Winder, and Roger Willard of Helen.
In lieu of sending flowers, if you feel so led make a donation to Maple Avenue United Methodist Church in memory of Sanford.