Evette Willis

Evette, affectionately known as Red Fox, Molly Red, Ms. Aunt Evette, and Sgt. Ms. Aunt Evette, answered the call of her Lord and entered into eternal rest on Monday, July 6, 2020. Evette was born in the family home at 807 Fairfax Ave. N.W., Roanoke, VA on September 19, 1953. She was the 6th child and 5th daughter of the late Clifford N. Willis Sr. and G. Camille Miller Willis.

Evette was baptized and confirmed at St. Gerard Roman Catholic Church and was educated at Our Lady of Nazareth Elementary School, and Booker T. Washington Junior High School where she was a majorette. While attending Lucy Addison High School she was a cheerleader and was also on the volleyball team. She graduated from Patrick Henry High School in 1972. After completion of high school, Evette worked at G.E. in Salem, VA for numerous years until she entered the United States Army in 1980 proudly serving her country for 12 years. Evette joined the civilian workforce and continued working for G.E finally retiring in 2019 with 20+ years of dedicated service. During those years, the union of Evette and Richard A. Penn blessed Evette with her sons Roethke and Cornelius (“My Boys”). Evette also earned an Electrical Associate’s Degree from Virginia College.

Throughout her lifetime you could find Evette enjoying softball and bowling as she was an avid bowler in different leagues including the Dream Team, Good Timer, and the Silhouettes. She always enjoyed a good game of Bid Whist with family and friends. She loved all sports whether participating or going to basketball, football, track, soccer, and lacrosse games as she traveled state to state supporting her sons and grandchildren in all their activities always being their number one cheerleader.

If you knew Evette, you knew she had that dynamic bowling stance, that boisterous laugh, and her famous and unique dance moves. She would always encourage others to serve their country and if you did not pronounce a word correctly, she would tell you to recite HOW, NOW, BROWN, COW. That was our momma, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend.

Evette was preceded in death by her parents, Clifford N. Willis Sr. and G. Camille Miller Willis; her brother, Maurice F. Willis; her niece, Tará N. Tinsley; and sister-in-law, Angela D. Willis. Those left to cherish sweet memories, dance moves, and that LOUD infectious laughter are her sons, Roethke K. Penn of Roanoke, VA and Cornelius F. Penn (Brittany) of Richmond, VA; granddaughters, Kiana Penn of Hammond, Indiana and Micaelah Lee of Seattle, WA; grandsons, Roman A. Penn of Hammond, Indiana, Kelan Robinson of Seattle, WA, Bryce J. Penn of Roanoke, VA and Rhoyale A. Penn of Richmond, VA; great-grandsons, James (Jimmy) Martinez and Marco Gonzalez, both of Hammond, Indiana; brothers, Clifford N. Willis II of Atlanta, GA and Jerome (Saba) Willis of Roanoke, VA; sisters, Altermease (James) Brown of Roanoke, VA, Brenda Willis of Roanoke, VA, Roma Cecilia Willis-Turner (Harding) of Roanoke, VA, Deborah (Donald) Terry of Roanoke, VA, Gerardia Willis of Roanoke, VA, and Michelle Willis Harden of Roanoke, VA; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Special friends are Joyce Jones, Benita Williams, Shirley Banks, Essex (Nick) Watkins, Francine Johnson, and Norvella Williams of Atlanta, GA.

A visitation with the family will be held on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Hamlar-Curtis Funeral Home & Crematory. The Memorial Celebration will be held privately. Condolences may be sent to http://www.Hamlar-Curtis.com.

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