Roanoke Co., VA – Lillian Willis Corron Blankenship, 98, passed away Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at home surrounded by family.
Willis was born on Oct. 13, 1924, in White Sulphur Springs, the daughter of the late Frazier Montague Corron and Lillian Gazelle Buckland.
Willis was a member of Green Memorial Methodist Church in Roanoke, VA.
She was raised in WSS and was part of the 1942 Graduating Class of White Sulphur High School. She married Darrell Marlowe Rose a year later. They had two children. She was living in Roanoke by 1947 where she started work for Peoples Drug Store on the cosmetics and drug counter. She quickly moved up and served as secretary to District 21 manager where she retired in 1990 after 42 years where it was said she was the heart and soul of the district. She married Joseph Otha Lambert in 1961. He was a dance instructor at Arthur Murray, and they spent many weeknights dancing around the living room, weekends at the Elk’s or Moose as well as competing in dance competitions. She was a strong woman that rebounded from her losses. In March of 2000, she was rescued from her burning home on Carvins Cove Road by Justin Anderson and Tommy Beckner. They broke through her bedroom window and stumbled across her on the floor and managed to get her out that window. She never forgot their heroic deed. In 2006 she moved back to WSS to be close to family where she lived until June 23, 2016, where she again had to be rescued from her home, this time due to historic flooding in the state of WV. She was carried out of her home, that had 3-4 feet of water inside, by Josh David Honaker and Jimmy Fraley. She and Jimmy spent that night with Peggy Bland due to being trapped by the high water. Josh and Jimmy’s heroic actions as well as Peggy’s kindness will never be forgotten. Losing her home in that flood brought her back to Roanoke where she resided with her granddaughter Karen Butler and husband Rhendal where she was around many of her grandchildren and kept an observant eye on them. She lived independently up until that time. She was always smiling, had a great sense of humor, was intelligent, beautiful and was a perfectionist.
Surviving Willis are her daughter, Janet Louise Rose Culpepper and husband, William “Bill” of Yulee, FL; sister-in-law, Anna Lee Corron of WSS; grandchildren, Karen Butler and husband Rhendal of Roanoke, VA, Lillian Mae “Sadie” Fraley and husband Jimmy of WSS, and Phillip Bolt from Charleston, WV; great-grandchildren, Katherine DePriest, Brandy Martinez and husband Joe, Joshua Fraley, Allie Fraley all from WSS and Hannah Bolt Hylton and husband Talman from Lexington, VA; and great-great grandchildren, Keaton Morgan and Katelynn Butler both of Roanoke, Emily Campbell, Johah Martinez, Hunter Queen and Charli Crookshanks all of WSS; and many nieces and nephews.
Other than her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 18 years, Ottaway Bowyer “Shorty” Baird, Jr. in 1979, her husband of nearly 15 years. Henry Burton Blankenship, in 1999, her daughter. Katherine Ann Rose Boltin 2008. and her siblings. Charlotte Grace Vance, Frazier Montague Corron, Jr., Robert Edward Corron and Mabel Marie Kincaid.
Funeral service will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, at Wallace and Wallace in WSS with Bobby McClintic officiating and visitation beginning at 1 p.m. Interment will follow in Hillcrest Cemetery in WSS.
Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in White Sulphur Springs is in charge of arrangements. Please send online condolences by visiting www.WallaceandWallaceFH.com
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