Published 1:31 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2019

        Evelyn Frances Davenport Petty was an educator, teacher of English, community worker, church worker, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother, sister, aunt, Delta, and friend to many.  She was born on February 19, 1932 to the late Della Hayden Davenport and the late George Franklin Davenport in Mill Spring, North Carolina. She departed this life on October 23, 2019.

          Evelyn was a lifelong seeker of knowledge and she loved to read.  She received her elementary education in the Polk County School System at Pea Ridge and Union Grove Elementary Schools.  She attended high school at Allen High School, a boarding school, in Asheville, North Carolina and New Hope High School in Rutherfordton, NC.  She attended Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in English and French. She later attended North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC where she was in the Master’s Degree Program.  She also attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

    Her teaching career spanned over 35 years.   She began her teaching career at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC and ended her career at Polk Central High School in Columbus, NC.  During the middle of her teaching career she taught at two high schools in South Carolina and two additional high schools in North Carolina.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

           Evelyn was a lifelong member of Stony Knoll CME Church in Mill Spring, NC.  In her church, she served in numerous leadership positions. She also served on numerous boards and committees at the District Conference Level and the Annual Conference of the CME Church.

         Evelyn volunteered to serve at the Stony Knoll Community Library in Mill Spring, NC.  She devoted many hours working at this library. The library was founded in 1937 by her mother.  Evelyn was a member of the Board of Directors and she had many responsibilities. She made sure that things that needed to be done were done correctly and in a timely manner. 


         Evelyn held membership and leadership positions in many organizations.  They were the North Carolina Association of Educators, Busy Matrons Leisure Club, the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Order of Calanthe, Polk County Historical Association, Polk County Rosenwald School Recording Team, Polk County Cemetery Recording Team, Polk County Historical Association, Friends of the Polk County Library, Polk County Retired School Personnel, Polk County Council on Aging, Polk County Mental Health Association, Polk County Extension Homemakers, Western Zone Status of Women, 4-H Club (Leader), Member of the Board of Directors of the Stony Knoll Community Library, and others. 

        Evelyn received many awards and recognitions.  They are the Second Wind Hall of Fame Award, Outstanding Community Participation Award, Outstanding Service Award to Stony Knoll CME Church, Outstanding Service Award from the CME District Conference, Outstanding Service Award from the CME Annual Conference, Outstanding Layman Award and Outstanding Service Award to the Stony Knoll Community Library.

        Evelyn was preceded in death by her mother and father; her husband, Alonzo Petty, her brother; Robert Franklin Davenport, her grandson, Charles Keith Franklin Forney.

       Family members that are left to celebrate her life are listed.  Her children: Robert Edward Petty (Sirvinuel) of Forest City, NC; Sandra Petty Forney of Inman, SC; and Gerald Alonzo Petty of Mill Spring, NC.  Her stepchildren: Karen Twitty (Jimmy) of Green Creek, NC and David Gary (Gwen) of Forest City, NC. Her sister: Mae Carolyn Williams (Joseph). Her 8 grandchildren; 8 step-grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; 11 step-great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchild; 2 nieces; 3 nephews; 2 grandnephews, and 1 God-daughter.  

        Evelyn Frances Davenport Petty’s task on earth has ended and we know that God has granted her a home in heaven.