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         Mrs. Willena Pearl McKnight Reeves, daughter of the late Samuel Woodrow McKnight and Ollie Elizabeth Grier McKnight, was born in York County, South Carolina on July 15, 1937.  She departed this life at Novant Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday, June 23, 2017.

She was a longtime member of St. Stephens A.M.E. Zion Church where she served as a former member of The Cassel Singers, Christian Education Director and a dedicated Deaconess.

Mrs. Reeves was a devoted wife to her husband, Gurt Reeves, Jr. and a loving mother to her three daughters, Lisa Ramona Reeves Conner, Delma Jeanine Reeves Hood and Myra Lynn Reeves Ervin.  She raised her daughters in Gastonia, North Carolina and later moved to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Mrs. Reeves graduated from Highland High School in Gastonia, North Carolina “Class of 1956”.  She obtained an associate’s degree from Gaston College and later continued her education at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina.  Mrs. Reeves worked in various capacities at Erwin Center in Gastonia, North Carolina and also was a retired educator of Woodhill Elementary, Gastonia, North Carolina.  

She enjoyed bringing joy and laughter to all as “Winnie the Clown”.  She had a love for playing the piano, and in her spare time she enjoyed gardening.  Mrs. Reeves was loving and always helping others; she will be remembered by those who loved her and knew her well.

Besides her parents, Willena was preceded in death by her husband, Gurt Reeves, Jr.; daughters, Infant Arengina Reeves, Lisa R. Conner and Delma R. Hood; sister, Helen Catherine McKnight Foster and brother, Dr. Arnold Woodrow McKnight.

She leaves to cherish precious memories her daughter, Myra Lynn Reeves Ervin (Eugene); son-in-law, Troy Conner; sister, Rose Marie McKnight; stepmother, Hazel McKnight; eight grandchildren, Troyanna (Melvin), Denena, Jarris (Ashley), Ambria, Alysia, Alexander, Victoria, and Jeremiah; great grandchildren, Kyia, Zavian, DJ, Tyler, Zaria, Taylor, Channyn, Jeriona, Ashton, Levi, and a host of other relatives and friends. 

Funeral Arrangements 

St. Stephens A.M.E. Zion Church
201 W. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, N.C.   28052

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 2:00 P.M.

The family will receive friends at the church for on hour prior to funeral.
(1:00 until 2:00 P.M.)

Armstrong Cemetery (Off Union Rd.)
Osceola Road
Gastonia, N.C. 28052

Willena Reeves
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  • Saturday, June 24, 2017
    Our staff will continue to keep your family in our prayers. We thank you for allowing us to serve your family.
    ~ Costner Funeral Home
  • Saturday, June 24, 2017
    I'm so very sorry to hear of your loss. Death is so hard to deal with. The bible helps us to see that all the suffering we have to face in this world, will one day be done away with. Revelation 21:4 My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    ~ Lisa L
  • Saturday, June 24, 2017
    May the grace of God and the surrounding of friends and family provide comfort during this time of bereavement. I will continue to keep the family in my thoughts and prayers.
    ~ Charles Love   Charlotte, NC
  • Monday, June 26, 2017
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Family such a lovely person . May God give you strength to endure this time of sorrow.
    ~ David and Sandra Brooks   Stanley, NC
  • Sunday, June 25, 2017
    My prayers are with you Myra and family during this time of bereavement. Mrs. Reeves was always a loving caring person.
    ~ LaTara Tribble   Mount Holly, NC
  • Sunday, June 25, 2017
    I am so sorry ! Rest Easy Ms Wilena a loving mother, God bless , comfort all her love ones.
    ~ Jackie Burris Owens   Anaheim, CA
  • Tuesday, June 27, 2017
    Reeves Family, May God comfort you all during this difficult time.
    ~ Lisa Michelle Simpson   Gastonia, NC
  • Monday, June 26, 2017
    I'm sorry to hear about your loss. May you find strength from the words of Psalms 34:18. It reads Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; He saves those who are crushed in spirit." Our loving God is there for us in times like this. He didn't intend for us to grow old and die. He thus has made the SURE promise of a resurrection right here on earth when it is restored to a beautiful paradise (Psalms 37:9-11, 29; Acts 24:15; Isaiah 55;11). Can you see yourself welcoming back to life your loved ones? What a joy it will bring all of us. You can go online to JW.ORG and find out more about this resurrection.
    ~ Rose L
  • Thursday, July 27, 2017
    Death is like sleep in that the dead are unconscious and cannot do anything. However, the Creator of life can bring the dead back by means of a resurrection. In proof of that, Jehovah empowered Jesus to raise several dead people to
    ~ Virginia