Willa Mae (Smith) Gooden, 79 of Downing, Missouri passed away at the Scotland County Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Missouri.

The daughter of William and Ethel Maye (Carter) Smith, she was born on August 4, 1937 in rural Granger, Missouri.  She was a graduate of the Granger High School in Granger, Missouri.  On May 27, 1956 at the United Methodist Church in Granger, Missouri, she was united in marriage to Richard Eugene Gooden and to this union two sons were born, Michael and James.

Willa Mae is survived by her two sons, Michael Gooden and partner, Timothy Grannemann of Columbia, Missouri and Jim Gooden and wife, Tracey of Downing, Missouri; grandchildren, Joel Gooden of Downing, Missouri and special friend, Shayla Watson of Queen City, Missouri and Megan Newlin and husband, Daniel of Centralia, Missouri; one great-granddaughter, Olivia Grace Newlin of Centralia, Missouri; one sister-in-law, Judy  Gooden of Hannibal, Missouri; nieces and nephews and other family members.

Willa Mae is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Richard Eugene Gooden on January 7, 1994; two brothers, Waldo and Vincent Smith and one brother-in-law, Robert Edward Gooden.

Willa was a very faithful member of the Downing United Methodist Church in Downing, Missouri where she served as organist for a number of years.  She was also the City Clerk for Downing, Missouri for numerous years.

Willa was very devoted to her family.  She was a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother.  Her grandchildren were the twinkle in her eye and she loved spending time with her family.

Funeral services were held at the Norman Funeral Home in Lancaster, Missouri on Saturday, July 29, 2017 with Marilyn Fitzgerald, Pastor of the Scotland County Larger Parrish officiating. Music was special CD selections of “The Old Rugged Cross” and “Amazing Grace”.  Pallbearers were Joel Gooden, Daniel Newlin, Weston Smith, Timothy Grannemann, Alan Garrett and Terry Anderson. Burial was in the Downing City Cemetery in Downing, Missouri.

In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established for Schuyler County Cancer Relief Fund. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at normanfh.com.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Norman Funeral Home in Lancaster, Missouri.