Rosa Aiken Evans departed this life Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, one day prior to her husband of 67 years, Henry J. Evans Sr., at Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus, in Milford. The only child born to the late Henry Aiken and Pearl Garmon in Screven County, Ga., June 14, 1932, Rosa was raised on Millhaven Plantation in Millhaven, Ga. Raised along with her cousin Clumentine Williams (Felton) by her mother’s sister Rosa McKinney and her uncle, Sunny Bryant, Rosa grew up atop the red clay of Georgia, picking cotton along with her family as a child.
Upon completing the 9th grade, the highest grade possible for her at that time, and determined to make a better life for herself, Rosa relocated to Philadelphia, Pa., with her mother’s sister St. Claire Hamilton and her husband Wilber Hamilton to continue her education. Enrolling in Standard Evening High School in Philadelphia to finish her education, Rosa would meet the love of her life, Henry Evans, while in history class. Married in Philadelphia in June 1953, Henry and Rosa would later relocate to Milton, where they raised four children.
As a dedicated domestic engineer, Rosa’s proudest accomplishment was her family. Always supportive of her husband Henry’s business and marketing endeavors, she never shied away from hard work. Whether it was starting her own cake and lemonade business, Sun Rich Lemonade in the late ‘70s or managing ESSA Studio, the family-run silk screen printing business in Milton, Rosa was all in. She was well known for her cooking abilities, especially pound cakes and pies. She once entered a local radio station (WAFL-AM) bake-off, where she easily stole first prize with her award-winning Honey Carrot Cake. Her sweet, kind and gentle way with everyone she encountered, coupled with wit and humor, made loving her easy.
As a former member of the Delaware Beekeepers Association, she also kept bees. She enjoyed working in her yard, gardening and was a member of the Delaware Hosta Association.
Rosa was preceded in death by her son, Henry Evans Jr. (May 13, 1955-Feb. 25, 2020).
She is survived by three children, Maurice Evans (Sherry) of Easton, Md., Kia Evans of Milton, and Ena Evans (Brian Hall) of Magnolia; adopted son, John Waters (Maria) of Camden; five grandchildren, Orion Baker of Seattle, Wash., Coi Evans of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Amanda Evans of Millsboro, Dr. Novia Ha (Dr. Duc Ha) of Newport News, Va., and Cyrus Hall of Magnolia; one brother-in-law, George Evans (Francis Evans) of Penns Grove, N.J.; three sisters-in-law, Ethel Watson of Smyrna, Mary Monroe of Dover and Nettye Evans of Brunswick, Ga.; one sister, Clumentine Felton of New York; nieces and nephews, Michelle Felton (Anthony Smith) of New York, Abraham Felton of New York, Penny Evans, James Felton (Dorian) and JB Evans (Lisa) of Florida; great-aunt, St. Claire Hamilton and son Wilber Hamilton of Hamilton Township, N.J.; and a host of neighbors she considered family, and many dear friends.
Services are scheduled for 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 6, at Evan Smith Funeral Home, 518 South Bay Road, Dover. Viewing is open to the public from 9 until 11 a.m. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a by-invite-only private ceremony will follow the viewing. Details regarding access to the virtual service can be found on www.ewsmithfs.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Bryan Allen Stevenson School of Excellence at www.basseinc.org.