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Willa Faye Mathes

Mrs. Willa Faye Mathes, daughter of the late Russell and Edna Selvage, was born on June 13, 1940, in Nicholas County. She gained her heavenly wings on September 1, 2021, after a long and intentional fight, in hospice care surrounded by those she loved the most.
Willa Faye was preceded in death by her “King of Headquarters” William Collier Mathes I, and professed her love for her Bill with her last breath. Willa Faye grew up on Forest Retreat Farm, horses being her first memory. She would often talk about how she thought there was no better perfume than a hayloft on a hot summer day or the smell of leather after a long ride. Horses were not just her passion – they were her life’s blood. An avid horsewoman, Willa Faye was the leader of the 4H Horse & Pony Club for many years while her children were growing up. She would often say: “Keep a kid on a horse and you keep a kid out of trouble”, and would share her love of horses with as many others as possible. She loved her Saddlebreds and knew those bloodlines as well as she knew her Bible.
Willa Faye was a devoted member of Carlisle Christian Church, and knew the love of God early. Before her death, she sang tenor in the choir at CCC. Willa Faye directed her children to maintain three priorities when raising their own children: make sure they feel loved, make sure they are educated, and make sure they are baptized. Our fondest memories can be found in the times she taught us to cook, swim, and garden. Or even the power and grace she exuded proudly driving her school bus and substitute teaching for Nicholas County schools for over 25 years.
She leaves behind her brother, Donnie Selvage. Being the matriarch of her family, her beautiful and full life will forever be cherished by her children: Whitney Mathes, Heather Mathes (Maurio Edmonds), Erin Mathes, and William “Collier” (Kara) Mathes II. Willa Faye also leaves behind six grandchildren: Tristan (Keagan) Mathes, Ian (Megan) Mathes, Mariah (Brittany) Johnson, Torrin Harris, Peyton Mathes, and Parker Mathes. Before her passing, she was able to establish bonds that will last a lifetime with her great-grandchildren: Levi Derrickson, Londyn Derrickson, Edith Mathes, and William Johnson.
In her memory, we will continue to keep our brothers and sisters close, treat others as we wish to be treated, and stand up for others. She taught us that our brothers and sisters are our best friends and that we should treat others as we wish to be treated. And that a second chance was the least we could offer anyone. That strong women stand up for themselves but a stronger woman stands up for everybody else. Her lessons are plentiful, though we were never taught to live without her.
We will always carry her memory in our hearts.
A funeral service was held at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, September 4, 2021, at the Carlisle Christian Church by Bro. Tony Smith.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Carlisle Christian Church, 242 North Locust Street, Carlisle, KY 40311.
Cremation arrangements under the care and direction of Mathers-Gaunce Funeral Home.
Condolences and video tribute are available at

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