Designer of 'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas' sign dies

A view of the welcome sign on Las Vegas Boulevard

Story highlights

  • Willis never trademarked her most-famous work, calling it "my gift to the city"
  • She created some of the city's most famous neon work

(CNN)You probably never knew her name, but you were familiar with her work.

Betty Whitehead Willis, the designer of the iconic "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign, died over the weekend. She was 91.
Willis played a major role in creating some of the most memorable neon work in the city.
    The Neon Museum also credits her with designing the signs for Moulin Rouge Hotel and Blue Angel Motel
    Willis visited the Neon Museum in 2013 to celebrate her 90th birthday.
    Born about 50 miles outside of Las Vegas in Overton, she attended art school in Pasadena, California, before returning home.
    She retired at age 77.
    Willis never trademarked her most-famous work, calling it "my gift to the city."
    Today it can be found on everything from T-shirts to refrigerator magnets.