Eva Novesta (Cates) Pettiford

February 6, 1942 ~ November 4, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old

Eva Pettiford Obituary

The Celebration of Life Service for Mrs. Pettiford will be live streamed on the Facebook Page of Fisher Memorial Funeral Parlor.


Eva Novesta Cates Pettiford, the daughter of the late Wiley Cates and Velma Novesta Torain Cates, was born on February 6, 1942. She was the third of twelve children.

Eva attended Popular Grove School, Jordan Grove School, and Cedar Grove School. She graduated from Central High School, Hillsborough, North Carolina, in 1961.

Eva joined the Glenns Grove Missionary Baptist Church early and remained a faithful member until her death.  She joined the Usher Board at age 13 under the leadership of Sister Louise Torain, where she later served as President of the Usher Board for many years.  Eva was a beginner Sunday School teacher, Vice President of Missionary Circle, Assistant Superintendent of the Sunday School, Kitchen Committee, and member of other auxiliaries along with the New Home and Durham Missionary Baptist Association for many years.  Eva enjoyed working outside in her yard, sewing, and spending time with her granddaughter.

On August 24, 1962, she was united in Holy Matrimony to the late Daniel (Dan) J. Pettiford.  They were married for 48 years. To this union they had two daughters, Doris, and Darlene.  They also raised their Godson, Robert.

Eva enjoyed working; her career started in 1966 and lasted 54 years.  She retired from Nortel in 1998 and retired again from Implus RTP in 2020.  Eva's employment history included Durham Drapery, Tectecrol, Sears, USPS, and Erwin Mills.  Eva enjoyed doing what she could for others by volunteering at the food bank and other places.

Eva leaves to cherish memories of two daughters, Doris P. Bennett (Cliff) of Durham, NC, and Darlene P. Espy of Raleigh, NC. and Godson, Robert K Jones, Jr. (Ahyona) of High Point, NC;  five sisters, Louise Long of Hurdle Mills, NC, Hassie Arnold of Whittier, CA, Joyce Council (Carnell) of Litchfield Park, AZ, Hazel Torain (Bruce) of Rougemont, NC and Delores Cates (Steve) of Graham, NC; two brothers, Willie Cates (Rev. Shirley Cates) of Cedar Grove and Buddy Cates (Mallie/Pinkie) of Hillsborough, NC; one uncle, Malcolm (Buddy) Torain of Rougemont, NC; two brothers-in-law, Willie H. Tinnin of Cedar Grove, NC, and Alvis Pettiford of Durham, NC; three sisters-in-law, Magnolia McMillian (Alvin) of Durham, NC, Barbara Peten (Donnell) of Charlotte, NC, and Gladys English (Morgan) of Efland, NC; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren.

Eva was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Dan; sisters, Annie Lee Tinnin and Lillie C Jones; brothers, Ernest and Bennie Cates; and son-in-law, Kenneth Espy.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Eva Novesta (Cates) Pettiford, please visit our floral store.

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Viewing (Walk Thru)
November 9, 2023

1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Fisher Memorial Funeral Parlor
3137 Fayetteville Street
Durham, NC 27707

November 10, 2023

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Glenn Grove Missionary Baptist Church
7001 Guess Road
Rougemont, NC 27572

Celebration of Life
November 10, 2023

12:00 PM
Glenn Grove Missionary Baptist Church
7001 Guess Road
Rougemont, NC 27572


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