Willistine has spent much of her life learning and teaching. She received her bachelor’s degree in Business Education from the U. of Arkansas in 1964, & in 1966, began teaching for the St. Louis Public Schools. It was initially very challenging but she excelled throughout her 39 years. She became certified as a science teacher & later earned a master’s degree in Human Relations & Management from Webster U. Willistine had always enjoyed writing but was too busy with family & work. Luckily, in her late 70s, she found a poetry writing class, which she loves. She continues to be a very active great-grandmother & spends much of her time volunteering for her church, exercising & writing poetry. Two of her poems were published in 2022 in "Roots Rainbows & Truth: The North County Anthology” & have been posted on the St. Louis Country Library website for National Poetry Month.
“At the first writing class, the teacher asked us to write,
so I wrote. The 2nd week, she asked us to write. I wrote about my skin & that particular poem was published . . . I don't care how tired I am. If I sit down & start writing, I get relaxed. So I know that is something that I like to do. That is one of my gifts - to write poetry, & I really enjoy writing them. It seems like my mind just opens up. I never
knew that I had so much in me but I have such
a good teacher . . . she has taught us to use good adjectives - write like you’re talking. I do that, & I am amazed at myself. I’m amazed at me. I thought by 55, I’d be in my rocking chair. Now that I am 80, I had
no idea that I would be as active as I am now but I think
it’s because I never did sit down!”