Inez Viola Devereaux, who went from being a minister's wife to becoming a minister herself, died Dec. 5. She was 81 and lived in the Northeast after many years in West Philadelphia.

She was born in Waverly, Va., to Louise Curtis. Her grandfather, Asa Curtis, raised her until the age of 10 when her aunt and uncle, Trula and Ervin Bagby, of Camden, took her to live with them. She was educated in Camden public schools. In 1944, she met and married the Rev. Roscoe F. Devereaux. "They made a striking couple," her family said in an obituary. "He was charismatic and handsome; she was smart and pretty."

She performed the duties of a minister's wife as he pastored First Nazarene Church in Camden. In 1949, they relocated to Philadelphia where he became the first pastor of New Thankful Baptist Church. There she organized the Devereaux Chorus, worked with the Nurses Unit, the Hospitality Club and other ministries.

She helped organize fun activities, such as picnics, hay rides and the annual bus trip to Coney Island in New York on Labor Day.

Her husband died in 1957. She became a founder of Greater Exodus Baptist Church, but later returned to New Thankful.

Inez decided in 1985 to attend the International Bible Institute and Seminary, graduating on June 1, 1985. She received a diploma in Bible Theology on June 14, 1986. She became associate minister of New Thankful under the Rev. Kelvin M. Laster.

She owned and operated Inez's Luncheonette, 2737 Columbia Ave., for several years, and worked as a supervisor at the real estate firm of Binswanger and Herman.

She is survived by a son, Roscoe F. Devereaux Jr.; an adopted son, Aronde M. Savoy; a daughter, Patricia D. Strum; a brother, Vernon Curtis; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by a daughter, Dorothy E. Savoy.

Services: 11 a.m. tomorrow at New Thankful Baptist Church, 1801 W. Cecil B. Moore Ave. Friends may call at 9 a.m. Burial will be in Ivy Hill Cemetery. *