Mary Juanice Wilhelms Dunavant
Mary Juanice Wilhelms Dunavant
October 3, 1934 - August 15, 2020
Juanice was born on the Nelson family farm in Upshur county in East Texas on October 3, 1934, to James Otis Nelson and Nellie Rayburn Nelson. She graduated from Pittsburgh High School in 1952 and attended East Texas Baptist University her freshman year in pursuit of a becoming a teacher. After her freshman year, she returned home to help on the farm again. Later she moved to Dallas where she was employed as an elevator operator and then began her carrier with 3M Company as a switch board operator.
In 1958 she married the love of her life, LeRoy Hugo Wilhelms and became a devoted U.S. Air Force wife. This enabled her to travel and explore the United States and parts of Europe. While stationed in England they assisted in planting a church where Roy helped lead music and Juanice took an active role in sharing her faith with other members of the Air Force and the people of the Village of Lakenheath.
After Royís retirement from the Air Force, they returned to Texas to continue raising their family. Roy started working for 3M Company, and Juanice eventually resumed her carrier with 3M. She held various positions during her tenured career including administrative assistant for the branch manager, benefits and fleet administrator. While living in Garland they served at Calvary Baptist Church in both the choir and various leadership positions.
Juanice retired from 3M in 1993, and she and Roy moved back to Pittsburgh, Texas, where they were active at First Baptist Church in Sunday School and leading services at a local nursing homes. Roy went on to be with the Lord in 1997 and Juanice later remarried long-time resident Sherwood Dunavant, and both remained active member at First Baptist Church. Juanice and Sherwood relocated to Rockwall, Texas, where they were involved in the senior adult ministry until Sherwood passed away.
Juanice has spent these latter years in Wichita Falls, Texas in an assisted living center where she continued to share her faith and happiness. She peacefully went on to her reward on Saturday, August 15th, 2020 at the age of 85.
Juanice was a loving a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother with a sacrificial heart. Coming from a large family of 5 brothers and 3 sisters, family was an important part of her life, and she taught these values to her children and grandchildren. She possessed a servantís heart and sacrificed her own needs for others. At large family or church gatherings, Juanice would most likely be found in the kitchen, washing the dishes and cleaning up. She was compassionate for those in need and actively reached out to them to provide assistance and prayer. For her, this meant opening her home on occasion for those who needed a place to stay. Her heartís desire was to reflect Christís love in all that she did, wanting to make sure that He was known to all.
Juanice is survived by a son, Steven Wilhelms and his wife Kimberly of Rockwall, Texas; one daughter, Judith Brown and her husband Darrell of Wichita Falls, Texas; a son, John Wilhelms and his wife Tonja of Houston, Texas; a foster daughter, Chris Sunderland and her husband David of Odessa, Texas; five granddaughters; 6 grandsons; and 3 great-grandchildren; one brother, Mark Nelson and his wife Peggy of Sulphur Springs, Texas; one sister Vita Tayler and her husband Robert of Mineola; and a wonderful Dunavant family.
Viewing will be at Piney Grove Baptist Church on Saturday August 22 at
10:00 AM, with services to follow at 11:00 AM. Arrangements are under the direction of Lunn's Colonial Funeral Home of Wichita Falls.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.lunnscolonial.com.