Cover photo for Edwina Kent Chapman "Eddie K" Willard's Obituary
Edwina Kent Chapman "Eddie K" Willard Profile Photo
1928 Edwina Kent 2023

Edwina Kent Chapman "Eddie K" Willard

December 10, 1928 — August 28, 2023


Edwina Kent Chapman "Eddie K" Willard passed into the arms of her Father on Monday August 28, 2023. She is survived by her two loving sons Michael Downing and Bert Joseph Willard, two daughters-in-law Karen Walters Willard and Diane Hardison Willard, 4 loving grandchildren and their spouses, two great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, and lives on in our hearts and in those whose lives she touched. Eddie K was pre-deceased by her son, James Kent Willard, her husband Bert Downing Willard, her brother, James Edwin "Buddy" Chapman Jr, and her mother and father, Mary Kent, and James Edwin Chapman Sr.

There will only be one “Eddie K,” yet her spirit and candor lives on in the hearts, minds, and spirits of the family she created. Edwina Kent Chapman was born on Hayden's Lane in Smithfield, December 10, 1928. She spent her formative years in Smithfield and on her Aunt Sally’s farm, and participated in community events and activity in 1930’s-40’s Smithfield. She was a proud graduate of the Smithfield High School Class of 1947 and always shared fond memories and lessons during the World War II and post war era in small town America. After graduating from Mary Washington College during the 1950’s, Eddie K pursued a teaching career before reuniting with her high school sweetheart that would become the love of her life and father of her children: Bert “B.D.” Downing Willard. Together they had two boys and raised them during the 1960’s space age era of Hampton amongst neighbors and friends on Gumwood Drive. There they had a third son, Bert Joseph, and moved back to their roots in Smithfield. There Eddie K participated in numerous aspects of Smithfield life such as a community theater actress, and a local historian with first-hand experience as a Smithfield tour guide. She would say to us later in life "sometimes I think we live in our own slice of paradise here".  She had a kind word to the people who needed it, and has created an amazing legacy of friends for 94 years. In her last years, she shared her love with her great-grandchildren Kegan Ala and Alice Stewart.

A funeral service will be held Saturday, September 2, 2023, 2 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 201 Cedar Street, Smithfield, with burial to follow in St. Luke’s Memorial Park Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Friday evening, September 1, 2023, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Little’s Funeral Home, 1515 South Church Street, Smithfield.


 We love you Eddie K,

 Mom, Memaw, and Gigi.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, September 1, 2023

6:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, September 2, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Trinity United Methodist Church

201 Cedar St, Smithfield, VA 23430

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Saturday, September 2, 2023

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

St. Luke's Memorial Park Cemetery

14477 Benns Church Blvd, Smithfield, VA 23430

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