Yearwood, Betty Lebow

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Our sweet matriarch, Betty Ann Lebow Yearwood, in her typical understated fashion, slipped away on Sunday evening, November 17th, after being surrounded by her family all weekend. Born and raised in Knoxville Tennessee, she chose to make Blacksburg her home for the last fifty years. She lived a full life, and she enjoyed good health until very recently.

Miss Betty leaves many devoted friends who meant the world to her. Her family, friends, animals, and her farm brought her joy every day- despite the guys tracking mud through her house as they came in daily for coffee. She wore many hats throughout her life including daughter, sister, wife, mother, neighbor, and friend. She welcomed being called a princess as well. And, as her niece said, “I wish everyone could have an Aunt Betty like I had.”

Undoubtedly her favorite role was as Gran. She was a huge albeit diminutive presence in the lives of each of her four grandchildren, and she made sure to tell each one, ‘You are my favorite.’ Typically she would do so in front of the other three.

She enjoyed playing tennis with her long-standing group until just a few years ago. She loved to read. She kept up with current events and pop culture, and was a huge Jimmy Fallon fan. She loved college football and basketball, and might have been Coach Buzz’s biggest fan. She enjoyed her pets and was especially fond of the Boston Terriers she raised over many years, including her devoted George, who survived her through sheer determination and a miracle because she could not bear to outlive him. She also loved her grumpy cat, Kathy, and her goats: Spot, Snot, Buzz, Myra, and Susie.

Betty will surely be remembered for her style, her smile, her southern charm, and maybe an expletive thrown in here and there. And until the end she claimed to be 5’1.

She was preceded in death by her parents, William Henry and Bertha Walker Lebow; her dear sister, Jean Fletcher; her beloved son, Rick; her former husband, Richard; and her sweetheart of many years, Eugene Shuff. The sad lot left to cherish her memory includes, but is not limited to, her son Guille Yearwood and daughter-in-law, Patrice; her daughter, Susan Harrison, and her partner, Myra Sims; and her favorite grandchildren: Reed Yearwood, Avery Harrison and fiancé Cole Closser, Emory Yearwood, and Katherine Harrison. She is also survived by her brother, Jimmy, her brother-in-law, Bill, and her nieces and nephews.

Gifts in her memory can be made to the Humane Society Animal Shelter, 1183 Flanagan Drive, Christiansburg, VA 24073, or to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 417005, Boston MA 02241-7005.

The family will receive friends at a visitation this Sunday, Nov. 24th, from 3:00 until 5:00 at the Yearwood’s home at 110 East Main, Christiansburg.