Patricia Braxton Wills, 72, a resident of Oak Park for more than 20 years, died suddenly in her home in Duarte, California, on March 11, 2022.
A bilingual adjudicator for the Unemployment Office of the state of Illinois for many years until her retirement, she was an active member of St. Catherine/St. Lucy Parish, where her brother, Bishop Edward Braxton, served as pastor. She was a featured soloist in the parish gospel choir and lived her Catholic faith. She avidly took part in Oak Park life, regularly spending leisure hours at the Oak Park Public Library, browsing the bookstores, visiting Frank Lloyd Wright homes, attending summer theater and concert performances, and relaxing in the Oak Park Botanical Garden. She often made her way around the village on her bicycle.
When her son, Michael Wills, and his wife, Angela, moved to the Los Angeles area with their five children, she soon followed to be closer to her grandchildren.
Bishop Braxton said of his sister: “We played together as children and traveled the world together as adults. Without her loving companionship, my life is changed forever. I pray that Patricia’s ebullient, joyful, hope-filled spirit will be with me and our family always.’”
Michael and his older brother Jamal, his wife Niambi, and their children mourn her untimely death along with their uncle the Bishop. Her older sister, Gwendolyn Braxton and her older brother, Lawrence Braxton predeceased her.
Bishop Edward Braxton of Belleville will preside at her funeral Mass on Friday, May 13, at 2 p.m. in the Mausoleum Chapel of Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside. Friends are welcome to attend. She will be buried in the Braxton family gravesite, where her parents, Cullen and Evelyn Braxton, also longtime Oak Park residents, and other family members are buried.