Willie Lee Marks was born on April 21, 1954 in Gurdon, Arkansas to James Garfield and Lucille Hawthorne Marks. He was a life-long member of Mt. Canaan Baptist Church having joined as a little boy under the leadership of Rev. S. L. Loyd. He was a 1972 graduate of Gurdon High School where he played basketball. He attended trade school in Hot Springs and studied auto body detail and repair.
Willie Lee worked as a sub-contractor and day laborer. He enjoyed all sports and was a die-hard Arkansas Razorbacks fan. When the Razorbacks were playing there had to be absolute silence. He also enjoyed all types of music; his favorite song was “His Eye is on the Sparrow”.
He was a loving father, supportive brother and a great friend. He passed into the Lord’s embrace on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at his home. He was preceded in death by his parents; and four brothers, James Marks, Jr., Julius Marks, Johnnie Lee Marks and Henry “Louie” Marks (June 14, 2017); and his son, Alex D. Marks (January 2018).
Willie Lee is survived by his daughter: Kiwante Collins of Little Rock, AR; his companion of 12 years, Helen Johnson of Hot Springs, AR; four grandchildren, Inkeria Holman, Edward Holman, D’Roj Tollette and Michael Collins, Jr., all of Hot Springs, AR; seven great-grandchildren; three sisters, Annie J. (Billy) Lockhart of Gurdon, AR, Annie McNeil of Gurdon, AR and Fannie Sheppard of Gurdon, AR; one brother, Oscar (Demita) Marks of Gurdon, AR; an uncle, David (Ruth) Hawthorne of Arkadelphia, AR and an aunt, Geraldine Marks of Atlanta, GA. He also leaves a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and cherished friends.
Public visitation will be Tuesday, February 27, 2018 from 12 noon until 6:00 p.m. Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at Mt. Canaan Baptist Church in Gurdon, Arkansas with Rev. Johnny Harris, eulogist. Interment will be in Rose Hedge Cemetery.