Evelyn Regina McDevitt Carter Lawless passed away on July 5, 2018, at Comfort Care Nursing Center. Her family all knew her as Evelyn, but in Laurel, everyone knew her as Regina. She was born Dec. 1, 1925 in Gulfport to Joseph Willie and Rubye Irene (Moody) McDevitt.
Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Friday at Memory Chapel. The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Highland Baptist Church and interment will follow at Hickory Grove Cemetery. Service will be led by Pastors Gene Douglas and Ken Tew.
She later moved with her parents and seven siblings to Shubuta, where she spent most of her youth. She moved to Laurel at age 17, where she completed her high school education while working for the Bell telephone company. When she retired in 1984, she had worked over 39 years at the telephone company. She remained an active member of the Telephone Pioneers, a volunteer organization.
A friend and co-worker at Bell introduced Regina to the friend’s brother William B. “Dud” Carter. Regina and Dud were married in 1953 at Highland Baptist Church, and she remained a faithful member of Highland through her life. Regina and Dud had one son, Eric. Dud passed away suddenly when Eric was only 7 years old, so Regina raised Eric on her own, while working full-time, and caring for a few of her elderly relatives.
Regina married Leo Lawless in 1988. With Leo, Regina gained two daughters, Janet (and Randy) Skipper and Ann Cox. She also gained a grandson, Jason. Later, grandson Clay (Eric and Cathy) and granddaughter Melanie (Janet and Randy) joined the family. Regina was a hard worker, excellent care-giver and a wonderful mother, sister, aunt, friend and neighbor, and will be missed by all. She had a delightful personality and wonderful sense of humor.
She is pre-deceased by her parents Rubye Irene and Joseph Willie McDevitt; husbands Dud Carter and Leo Lawless; granddaughter Melanie Skipper; sisters Joyce Pettis, Ruby Scarbrough and Mildred Dew; and brothers James and Fred McDevitt.
She is survived by her son Eric, daughter-in-law Cathy and grandson Clay; daughter Janet (and Randy) Skipper and their son Jason and his family, and daughter Ann Cox. She is also survived by sisters Sallie Thornton and Shirley Clifton, along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
She loved spending time with all of her family and provided many meals for reunions and holidays with them. Delmonico Nut cake, Cajun sheet cake and jalapeno cornbread were her specialties! Regina also claimed all of Cathy’s family as part of her family and spent many special times with them. Regina had two very special ladies who provided care, companionship and a lot of love over the past few years – they also became part of her family. Brenda Gaskin, who became like another daughter to her, and Joyce Donald, a close friend. They were wonderful to Regina, and through their efforts, she was able to remain in her home longer than anticipated. For that, Regina was grateful, as was her family.
The family would also like to say a special thank you to Brother Gene Douglas and all the wonderful friends at Highland Baptist Church, who visited, prayed, wrote letters, and supported Regina through her life, and through her recent illness.
Pallbearers are Clay Carter, Jason Skipper, Wesley Lee, Ron Sykes, John Scarbrough, and Mark Nichols. Honorary pallbearers are Lynn Naylor, Phillip Tew, John Ashley, Randy Wall, Ron Smith and James Green.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Regina’s name to Highland Baptist Church or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
To sign the online guestbook, visit www.memorychapellaurel.com.