Rena Willis
1955 - 2020
Hayworth-Miller Funeral Home - Winston-Salem
3315 Silas Creek Parkway
Winston-Salem, NC
Willis, Rena

March 1, 1955 - September 9, 2020

Our beloved Rena passed away Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Rena was born in Washington County, TN on March 1, 1955 to Jesse Jones and Blanch Gourley Jones. She ended her career at Wake Forest and had worked there for over 19 years. She worked for two different departments; her favorite was the IS (Information Systems). While there, she attended High Point University and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2005. She married Jim Willis in June 2000. Rena loved making things for people and just making them laugh. She was writing a book (dedicated to her mother, Blanch Gourley Jones) titled "The Gift of Laughter." She was asking people to contribute so she could incorporate their stories. She loved to hear and make people laugh! Rena will be greatly missed. She was preceded in death by her brother, Doug Gourley who passed away on September 3, 2019. Surviving family includes her husband , Jim Willis; her daughter, Robin Owens; son, Randall Fox; four sisters, Mary "Sue" Marley, Lori Trent, Tammy Yelton and Vonda Stout; and four brothers, Larry, Harold, Orben and Palmer Jones; two grandchildren, Jessie Wilks (Kayla) and Jacob Owens; one great-grand child, Tucker Wilks. Rena had asked to be cremated and NOT to have an "open-casket" funeral. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, September 26, 2020 at United Family Church in Lewisville, NC. She loved flowers and she would prefer that people take flowers to their loved ones that have already passed away. She was always thinking of others and she had many friends all over the world! Online condolences may be made at

Hayworth-Miller Silas Creek Chapel

3315 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
Published by Winston-Salem Journal on Sep. 16, 2020.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Memorial service
United Family Church
Lewisville, NC
Funeral services provided by:
Hayworth-Miller Funeral Home - Winston-Salem
Sponsored by Hayworth-Miller Funeral Home - Winston-Salem.
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4 Entries
It's been a while since I've worked with Rena, but I always remembered her pleasant smile. She gave my firstborn a teddy bear, which will still have 14 years later. Rena will definitely be missed.
Leroy Walker Jr
February 9, 2021
It was nice getting to know Rena over the years at Wake Forest. I met her when I started in Information Systems in 2000. She was always so kind and respectful of her coworkers. I want to say I am sorry for your loss to her family, I know she will be missed.
James Lewis
September 17, 2020
Rena was such an honest and caring friend. She showed me how to have fun at work and oh the laughter we had! ...'let me look into my crystal ball...' I miss her already. God speed, my friend!
September 17, 2020
Rena was the best! I worked with in Research and Sponsored Programs at Wake. She helped keep us sane.
I will miss her wonderful face book comments.
Katie Shugart
September 16, 2020
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