Evelyn was born in Minot ND. Her family had moved about 1908 when her father and his brother Patrick aquired land grants in northwestern North Dakota. The family probably did not live in Minot at the time, but in nearby Ward County. Minot was the large city in Ward County, and it seems likely that Evelyn was born in a hospital there, rather than at home. The family moved several times in that general area, when her father took new jobs operating grain elevators to serve the needs of the local farming community. Her mother grew ill during the 1910's, and the family moved to Washington State, thinking a change in climate would help. They first settled outside of Seattle in an area known as Richmond Beach, but later moved to Lewis Co. in southwestern Washington. Sohia died when Evelyn was about 15. After graduating from highschool Evelyn enrolled in a nurseing school, but had to quit after her father took sick. He died in 1938, leaving Evelyn on her own as a young adult. She moved to Seattle where she worked in department stores, and eventually enrolled in a school to become a beautician. About 1940 she went north to Alaska where she lived with friends for about 6 months. She eventually decided that Alaska was a bit too wild for her tastes, and returned to Seattle where she worked on the Black Ball ferry line. At the outbreak of World War II she volunteered to help man a submarine spotting station near Bremerton Washington. There she met her future husband, Thurston Willis, a Coast Guardsman stationed near-by.
Evelyn and Thurston married in 1943, during the height of World War II. Thereafter they followed a military life, moving from community to community as orders directed. During World War II much of these movements were related to short stays in various towns along the east coast where Thurston attended military training schools. Toward the end of the war he 'shipped out' for the Pacific theater as a lieutenant-junior grade. During this time Evelyn lived with Thurston's mother in Raymond Washington, with their one-year old son.
Following Thurston's return from the Pacific the family moved to the Los Angeles area of California, where they purchased their first home in Long Beach. Here second son, and a daughter were born. In 1954 the family moved to the Seattle area, where they lived until 1959. They then moved to Cape May New Jersey, where Thurston served as the Executive Officer on the Coast Guard Training vessel, the Unimak. In 1960 they moved for the last time to Portsmouth Virginia, purchasing a home in the Churchland area. Here Thurston retired in 1964 with close to 30 years of service.
Thurston then took a job in the civilian sector, working for the Virginia State Employment Commission, where he worked an additional 20 years (?) before finally retiring for good about 1985. After Thurston's death in 1991, Evelyn moved to a military retirement community in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Here she lived out the remainder of her life, dying in November of 2005. She and Thurston are buried together in Arlington National Cemetery.
|DOB:||03 Aug 1913||Family Records|
|POB:||Minot ND||Family Records|
|DOD:||4 Nov 2005|
|Burial:||Arlington National Cemetery, Washington DC|
|Spouse:||Thurston L. Willis (1913-1991)|
|Father:||James Albert Morrow (1878-1938)|
|Mother:||Sophia Cecilia Mucha (1885-1928)|
So pack up your sea-stores, consider no longer,
Ten dollars a week is not very bad pay,
With no taxes or tithes to devour up your wages,
When you're on the green fields of America.
Green Fields of America, Traditional Irish Immigration Song