Carolyn (Phelps) Willis

October 20, 1942 ~ January 5, 2020 (age 77)

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Carolyn Phelps Willis, 77, of Marshallberg, passed away Sunday, January 5, 2020 surrounded by her family.

A celebration of her life will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, January 11, 2020 at Marshallberg Missionary Baptist Church with Pastor Randy Moore officiating. The graveside service will follow at Victoria Cemetery in Marshallberg.

Carolyn was born on October 20, 1942, in Norfolk, Virginia to Cecil and Hilma Phelps. She graduated from Smyrna High School in 1961 where she was selected All County Basketball Team for two consecutive years. Carolyn was employed at the Beaufort Branch of First Citizens followed by a 30-year career with the United States Postal Service. She retired in 2005 as Postmaster of the Davis Post Office. 

Carolyn married Johnnie Van Willis on May 12, 1962. Their 57 years together brought her much happiness and joy. Their children, Anthony, Valerie, Carol and Holly knew her as a loving, compassionate and supportive mother.  She enjoyed supporting their activities such as East Carteret band, athletics and spending summers at their cottage at Cape Lookout. 

Carolyn was a longtime member of the Marshallberg Missionary Baptist Church where she sang in the church choir and taught Sunday school. She served as Worthy Matron, in the Beaufort Chapter of Eastern Star and enjoyed sharing a music ministry with her husband at rest homes, hospitals and churches around the community. Carolyn never met a stranger and was known for her warm loving smile.  

She is survived by her husband, Johnnie Van Willis; son, Anthony Willis and wife, Lori of Greenville; daughter, Valerie Bryan and husband, Tim of Raleigh; daughter, Carol Zimmerman and husband Donnie, of Beaufort; daughter, Holly Willis and husband, Allen of Beaufort; three grandchildren, Dylan Willis, Hunter Willis and Hudson Willis. 

Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents, Cecil and Hilma Phelps.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent in support of the building fund to the Marshallberg Missionary Baptist Church, 1043 Marshallberg Rd, Marshallberg NC 28553. 

Electronic condolences and life tributes may be sent to the family at

Arrangements by Noe Funeral Service, Inc. of Beaufort, NC.


Memorial Service
January 11, 2020

2:00 PM
Marshallberg Missionary Baptist Church
1049 Marshallberg Rd
Marshallberg, NC 28553

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