In Memory of




Obituary for Birdie Evelyn Joe

Birdie Evelyn Joe was born in Lynchburg, S.C. to the late Charlie L Joe and Clara Bell Samuel. She is affectionally known as Frank; the story is that she got that nickname because her voice was deeper than her siblings and was comparable to the uncle Frank Samuel. The seventh child and the youngest daughter, Frank was educated at Mount Pleasant High School, in Elliott, S.C. and was a member of Galilee Baptist Church in Maysville, S.C. In her late teens, Frank birthed her first daughter Phyllis Joe.

In the mid 60’s, Frank met Herman Rock Sr. of Sumter, S.C. They eventually married and moved to Washington, D.C. joining Frank’s four sisters who were already in the area. This union resulted in three more children born to Frank- Charlene Rock, Sheila Maria Rock, and Herman Troy Rock Jr. The family then moved from Washington, D.C. to Oxon Hill, Maryland after 11 years. Frank became a member of Friendship Baptist Church in D.C., ensuring there would be a spiritual foundation for her children. Frank worked at the retail store Woodward and Lorthrop (Woodies) located on F Street and at Iverson Mall for over 15 years as a retail specialist – an occupation that she enjoyed and excelled at. Frank enjoyed spending time with her sisters and their families and helped to create a tight-knit family community. Often Frank would travel back to South Carolina to visit her parents and other relatives. In the early 80’s Frank re-invented her life and embraced her middle name Evelyn, which she at times wanted to be addressed as. Evelyn had several occupations -at one point she was even a school bus driver. Evelyn worked at Barre International Pharmaceutical company for several years and learned intensely the type of prescription drugs the company manufactured. Evelyn lived in several places, including Baltimore before moving and settling in Largo, Maryland. In the 20+ years she lived in Largo, Evelyn developed new, lasting friendships, became a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden where she strengthened her spiritual connection, and she worked as a retail specialist at Ross store. She traveled with her friends and some of her nieces, and she was very vibrant and active.

Birdie Evelyn Joe, also known as Frank to some and Evelyn to others, lived life on her terms and was determined to overcome every complexity, hardship, and obstacle she faced to live her best life. Sometimes her strong determination presented challenges in relationships, yet she persisted. She had the gift of gab as some would say and can talk for days! Birdie made an undeniable, lasting impact on those who had the opportunity to engage and form viable relationships.

Birdie is preceded in death by her by grandsons Tre Rock and Eric Keels, sisters Ruth Washington and Geneva Hudson, grandson Demetrius Keels, sister Rebecca Speed, brother Sammy Joe Sr, sister Ruby Cain, husband Herman Rock Sr and sister Etoy Peggy Joe.

Birdie leaves behind her children Phyllis Keels, Charlene Rock-Foster, Sheila Rock-Brown, and Herman Troy Rock Jr., son-in-law Gerald Foster Jr, grandchildren Rachelle Keels, Maria Fontanez, Fernando Fontanez, Troy Henson, Jasmine Rock, Lafayette Adams, and Tyrice Rock, great-grandchildren Justin Ray, Michael Jones Jr, Merilynn Faye Wyatt, and Sevyn A. Adams, brothers Jimmy Joe, Malachi Joe, and Charles Joe, sisters-in-law Lillie Mae Joe, Sherry Joe, and Nuria Joe, best friends Alfreida Robinson Pamela Folson, Carol Gilmore, Venita Jacobson, and a host of nieces, nephews other family members, friends, and close associates.