Evelyn Ruth Box Willey

evelyn  willey

Evelyn Ruth Box Willey, 85, of Vienna, Virginia, passed away on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. She was born on January 13, 1937, in Abingdon, Virginia, the second daughter of Della Mae Coulthard and Fred Cook Box, both deceased. She was married to Larry Jackson Willey for forty-seven years until Larry’s death in 2006. She is also preceded in death by two sons, Mark Lawrence Willey, and Michael Alan Willey, by her sister Doris Jean Box Chrisman and brother-in-law Dan Alvin Chrisman, Sr., and by her nephew Andrew “Andy” Willey. She is survived by nieces and nephews: Paula Beth "PB" Willey Adams, Leigh Ann Willey, David Kent Chrisman, and Dan Alvin Chrisman, Jr. She is also survived by her daughter-in-law Tanya Sue “Susi” Willey, her brother-in-law Harvey E. “Pete” Willey and his wife Sue Ann.

Evelyn lived in Abingdon until she finished seventh grade at William King High School when her father was transferred to Roanoke. When she left Abingdon, she always said she wanted to return to Emory & Henry College for her undergraduate education.

In Roanoke, she enjoyed her neighbors on Sherwood Ave. and her church, Raleigh Court United Methodist church. She and Doris were there every time the doors opened! She graduated from Jefferson High School in 1955 and did return to Emory & Henry College that fall. Besides earning a bachelor’s degree, she met her husband, Larry, there. They both loved the college and truly appreciated what they felt their college education helped them to accomplish in their lives.

Larry and Evelyn were married in 1958. She graduated from Emory & Henry College in 1959. They moved to northern Virginia and Evelyn began teaching in Fairfax County Public Schools. After teaching for eight years, and with the home and cars paid for, Larry and Evelyn started their family. Mark was born in 1967 and Michael in 1969. When both boys were in school full time, Evelyn returned to her teaching career at Sunrise Valley Elementary School and later at Wolftrap Elementary School. She retired in 1993.

Evelyn and Larry enjoyed their retirement, visiting Galax, Virginia (Larry’s childhood home), Roanoke, Virginia, camping and enjoying their home in northern Virginia.

Evelyn’s funeral service will be conducted at 11 am, Monday, November 14 at Wesley United Methodist Church, 711 Spring Street SE, Vienna and officiated by Rev. Ray Brill and Rev. Jiyeon Kim, former and current pastors respectively, of the church. Interment will follow in National Memorial Park, 7482 Lee Highway, Falls Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made to Emory and Henry College online at www.ehc.edu/giveonline or mailed to:

Emory and Henry College

P.O. Box 950

Emory, Virginia 24327

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  1. It was a joy to know Evelyn through Wesley. We sat together many Sundays, were in Discipleship Bible studies together for years and both enjoyed Never Grow Old and other church related activities. When we moved to Texas there was a card waiting for us from Evelyn welcoming us to our new home. She was a lovely thoughtful lady and will be missed by many. My condolences to her family.

  2. We send our deepest sympathy to Evelyn’s family. We will forever cherish many good neighborly chats & visits in Vienna, VA and afar with Evelyn. She was the Guardian of our neighborhood. She was not only strong in her kindness & faith, but physically walking 3 miles everyday and waving hello and taking the time to just ask how you were doing. Evelyn loved to share the “best banana bread ever” (BBBE) with her friends and anyone she felt that she needed to say “thank you” to. She would tell me often “I thought you’d like to eat it for breakfast before work or have some on your trip”. Evelyn knew that many times that little loaf of BBBE went a “long way” as it was carried along on several car trips to PA & NY (she wouldn’t let us leave the driveway until she walked or drove by with a loaf of BBBE. Our family and friends got a taste of it and then would want to meet the icon, Evelyn when they came for a visit. In turn, I would bake her Italian Pizzelle cookies. We would then be caught up in a “sugar exchange” ha,ha. Evelyn would share with us her specialty chocolate Chinese noodle cookies that were Scott’s favorite and the Ritz chocolate dipped peanut butter cookies that I loved more. Evelyn sure had the Girl Scout “Tagalong” cookies beat with that recipe! Additionally, Evelyn loved the many bouquets & flower arrangements she received throughout the year. So, when I would be on my dog walk, she would come outside and wave to me and then usher me & Morgan to stop by a few minutes and see her lovely flowers “and so forth”… Also, she asked me several times to take pictures (see photos) of these floral arrangements so that she could later email them to her family & friends. Evelyn was truly an inspiration to us and exemplified strength &. courage in how to live a long and simple life over the last 17 years that we got to know and love ❤️ our dear friend. While we already missed Evelyn due to our long distance move a year ago, it is heartwarming to know that we kept in touch often. Therefore, we’re at peace that Evelyn has been called to join the Angels and our memories live on. May God Bless,
    Scott & Nina Curtis

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