Dateline – Gainesville, Georgia
Willie Marie Buffington, 93, of Smoky Springs Retirement Community in Gainesville, Georgia, passed away Tuesday, January 5, 2021, at Northeast Georgia Medical Center after suffering a heart attack while being treated for other issues.
Marie was born on October 10, 1927, in Marble Hill, Georgia to Henry Marion and Julia Ann Ingram Weaver. She and her siblings Walter, Wilda, and Floyd grew up in nearby Tate, Georgia where Henry worked at Georgia Marble Company.
In high school, she met her future husband, Raymond Tyrus Buffington, who, according to her, was very mischievous. They were married in Jasper, Georgia on August 21, 1943. After moving to Gainesville in 1954, Marie went to work for Main Street School where she worked in the lunchroom for 25 years, serving the best school food in Gainesville. She was a faithful member of Central Baptist Church where she kept nursery, taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, and helped prepare Wednesday night suppers.
Three words that sum up Marie’s life are Faith, Family and Food. Known as Marie, Mama, or Granny to friends and family (Willie to her doctors), she spent many happy hours in her kitchen running a near-industrial operation, baking millions of scrumptious cheese straws and sugar cookies for friends and family. Her cookies have been all over the world on mission trips through the church. The cookie-lady will be greatly missed.
Marie loved her grandchildren, and they always looked forward to spending extended time at her house as they grew up. A particular joy was the arrival of great-grandchildren. All her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren gathered for her 90th birthday. This past year she learned to use FaceTime on her iPad to keep up with them all from a distance.
In addition to all her siblings, Marie is preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Raymond Tyrus ‘Spider’ Buffington, funeral director of Ward’s Funeral Home, and a son, James Everett Buffington. She is survived by four children: Ray (Linda) Buffington of Swedesboro, NJ; Charles (Donna) Buffington of Athens, GA; Kerry Buffington of Gainesville; and Susan (Morris) Galloway of Clinton, SC. Also surviving are daughter-in-law, Jeanne Buffington of Gainesville, nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren as well as several nieces and nephews around the country.
A private funeral service will be held for the family. A memorial service will be held when it is safe to do so. Information will be made available online at Ward’s Funeral Home.
Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.wardsfh.com. Memorials may be made to Central Baptist Church, 758 Main St., Gainesville, GA 30501.
The family would like to express our gratitude for the care given to our mother by the workers at Smoky Springs, Loving Hearts, EMS, and the ER doctors and nurses at NGMC.