Ann M. Willis

Ann Marie (Coen) Willis left this world on April 24, 2019, to be reunited with her beloved late husband, Leslie C. Willis. Born in Newport on September 21, 1936, Ann was the daughter of the late Mary and Austin Coen.

Known with love and affection as “Nana” by her family, she is survived by her three children Theresa Williams, her husband Gordon, Gerald Willis, his wife Christine, and Gregory Willis and his wife Andrea. She will be deeply missed by her beloved grandchildren, Moira Willis, Graham Williams, James Willis, Ana Williams, Nicole Willis, Mary Williams, Alexa Willis, and Owen Willis. She is predeceased by her brothers, Austin Coen Jr. and Francis Coen. She is survived by their wives, Esther Coen and Mary Anne Coen.

Ann was a graduate of St. Catherine’s School, and for many years was a telephone operator for Bell Telephone on Bull Street. During the 1970’s she worked as a phone operator and receptionist at Salve Regina College in Ochre Court, where she was well-known among the staff, faculty, and students. She was also employed at Sears Roebuck & Co. as an office clerk and executive assistant.

After the death of her husband, Leslie, in 1993, Ann found great joy and a renewed sense of self as Nana to her grandchildren, who she enjoyed immensely. She thus became the Matriarch of her family, and enjoyed their company dearly. For generations, Ann enjoyed going to New Hampshire with her family. She always enjoyed hosting her family at her house on Sylvan Terrace for holidays and family events. She also enjoyed gardening, reading, playing bingo, and watching the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox.

Ann was a lifelong communicant of St. Mary’s Parish in Newport. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated there on Monday, April 29, 2019 at 10am. Burial St. Columba Cemetery, Brown’s Lane, Middletown.

Visiting hours will be held Sunday, April 28 from 3-6pm at the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring Street, Newport.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to Catholic Memorial Home, 2446 Highland Ave, Fall River, MA 02720 will be appreciated. The family would like to extend appreciation and gratitude to the staff of Catholic Memorial for the compassionate and loving care Ann received there.