Winnie Friend

Winnie Friend (Willis)

Sunday, May 22nd, 1927 - Saturday, December 28th, 2019
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Winnie “Willis” Friend, 92, of Vinton, Va., passed away Saturday, December 28, 2019. She was born on May 22, 1927, at 100 Virginia Ave, Salem, VA. Winnie was retired from the office of Hearings and Appeals with over 40 years of service. Winnie’s loves and hobbies include her family, watching all sports especially baseball and tennis, and animals, especially her cat!

Her surviving family includes her children, David L. Friend and wife, Diane, Diane Huelskamp and husband, Rob, Alan C. Friend and wife, Vickie, and Ben R. Friend and wife, Sharon; grandchildren, Anita Pagans and husband, Jeremy, Alica Friend, Josiah Friend and wife, Shelley, Bryce Huelskamp, Ben Alan Huelskamp, April Lee Funaki and husband, Richard, Dustin Rios, and Bronson Rios; great-grandchildren, Emerald Pagans, Carter Pagans, Nate Funaki; sister, Claudine W. Reese, and Lorraine W. Thornhill; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. on Monday, December 30, 2019, at the John M. Oakey & Son Funeral Home in Salem, Va.

A funeral service to celebrate her life will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, December 31, 2019, at the funeral home with Chaplain Troy Mays officiating. Burial will follow at Sherwood Memorial Park in Salem.
The family would like to thank the entire staff at the Bedford Hospice House for the care and loving attention they gave to our mother.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that charitable donations be made to the Shady Grove Fire and Rescue Squad in her memory.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Monday, December 30th, 2019 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Monday, December 30th, 2019 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    John M. Oakey & Son Funeral Home
    305 Roanoke Boulevard
    Salem, Virginia 24153
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Tuesday, December 31st, 2019 | 11:00am
    Tuesday, December 31st, 2019 11:00am
    John M. Oakey & Son Chapel
    305 Roanoke Boulevard
    Salem, Virginia 24153
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Chaplain Troy Mays
  • Interment

    Tuesday, December 31st, 2019 |
    Tuesday, December 31st, 2019
    Sherwood Memorial Park
    1250 East Main Street
    Salem, Virginia 24153
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of Winnie here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.

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Private Condolence
Delwin and Seleta Lovell and your Rotech family sent flowers to the family of Winnie Friend (Willis).
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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 11:46am
Thinking about you and sending love and prayers
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Flowers were purchased for the family of Winnie Friend. Send Flowers


Delwin and Seleta Lovell and your Rotech family

Posted at 11:04am
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time.
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Delwin and Seleta Lovell and your Rotech family purchased flowers for the family of Winnie Friend. Send Flowers


Diane Huelskamp

Posted at 12:11am
Dear mom,

I am so thankful to God for giving me one more visit to Virginia to spend one-on-one time with you. We had some laughs and even the moments of quietness were refreshing. All of the hand written notes back and forth; noting how the leaves of the trees are starting to change colors just like the seasons of our lives are changing as well. Thank you for your love and for rallying from double pneumonia to give me one last special time with you. I love you, cherish you, and will miss you dearly.

Your daughter,

Diane Huelskamp

Diane Huelskamp Posted at 12:15am

We remember her generous heart of giving so faithfully with hand written letters, birthday cards, get well wishes, Christmas, and Easter packages. We can’t remember a single Christmas of our lives without a wonderful gift from Grandma Winnie. Every single year she would fight the snow and brave the journey no matter what. We don’t know of any other person like that. What a testimony of her loving and giving heart. Love, The Huelskamps

Sharon Gibson

Posted at 02:48pm
I first met Winnie Friend in the early 70's when I became employed at 'BHA' in Roanoke, VA. I quickly learned that if I needed an answer to a question, Winnie would be available. If she didn't know, she knew where to look. After I got my promotion to hearing assistant, she helped me with all that was needed for my travel trips. Winnie lived in Vinton at that time and so did I, so I occasionally would give her a ride to work. She would tell me that she couldn't sleep, so she got up and ironed. That amazed me, because I hated to iron at any time. Winnie would tell me stories of Ben and his rodeos, Diane and her chimp, and stories of Anita, her grandbaby. She loved getting together with her siblings. Family was important to Winnie and so was her work. She seldom left her desk for lunch and didn't take breaks. After I moved to Goodview, Winnie lived in nearby Stewartsville so I visited her on occasion and got to see her latest collection. She enjoyed travel and I love the picture of her with the flower in her hair and assume it was Hawaii. What a joy to know her all these years. Even after moving to FL, Winnie sent me birthday and Christmas cards. I had no idea she was 20 years older than me...we shared so much and she supported me through some difficult times. I'll always appreciate that. Winnie Friend, a true friend, to me. Sharon Gibson, Ft. Myers, FL

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