Our Mother, Betty Thomas Rozzell, passed away on May 6, 2019. She was lovingly called Gran and was a friend to all. Betty was born in Trion, GA on September 20, 1924 to Carlos and Mary Lou Thomas. She was predeceased by her husband, Woodville Grady Rozzell, and her brother, Joel Clayton Thomas.
Left to cherish her joyful life are her children: David Thomas Rozzell (Judy), Terri Rozzell Brooks (Joe), Carol Rozzell Tyson (Joe), Pegg Rozzell and her Grandchildren Amy Behrendt (Trey), Nancy Johnson (Jay), Jeff Owens, Jody Brooks (Tom Groch), Olivia Tyson, Andrew Tyson, Ali Henion (Dave) and Aaron Osteen (Jill). Her five “greats’ are Conner Behrendt, Sophie Behrendt, Yates Johnson, Hannah Johnson and Piper Rozzell Groch.
A private burial was conducted at the VA Cemetery on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, at 11:00 am at the First Baptist Church in Black Mountain, where for over three decades, Betty taught the Sunday School Classes of 2nd Graders. The family will receive friends in the church sanctuary one hour prior to the service.
Flowers are appreciated. Memorial donations can be made to North Carolina Veterans Writing Alliance Foundation Inc., 30 Crestwood Road, Asheville, NC 28804 and Bethany Christian Services, 142 Airport Road, Suite G, Arden, NC 28703.
Betty grew up on a farm in Trion, GA and helped cultivate the crops at a very young age. She was reading at age three thanks to her schoolteacher Mother. After graduating from LaFayette High Scholl at age fifteen, she worked a year at the Big Friendly Department Store selling women’s ready to wear clothes. This was the start of her love of fashion. Deciding to continue her education she applied and was accepted in Edmonson Business School in Chattanooga, TN. During her first day there she met her future husband. Grady was smitten. She was not but he eventually won her heart. In short order, Grady began his pilot training with the Army Air Force, preparing to ship out to Prestwick Air Base in Scotland to fly B -17s. They decided to marry before he left the states and planned a wedding in Tampa, FL. After the wedding, Betty traveled back to Trion, GA and Grady flew 33 successful missions out of England to support the Allies in WWII.
After the war, the family grew to six while living in Georgia. In 1962, the family moved to Swannanoa, NC where Grady was the Plant Engineer at Beacon Mfg. Co. Betty wholehearted supported the children’s school and sports activities and church events and still found time to volunteer for Red Cross and the Old Depot in Black Mountain.
Betty was a gifted seamstress. Her artistry included prom dresses, wedding gowns, and men’s suits. She loved creating beautiful clothes and costumes not only for her daughters, granddaughters and herself but for all their friends. She drew the line at making those tiny Barbie doll clothes though.
It was required that you learn to make her Peanut Butter Cookies and master the fine art of dyeing Easter eggs. She will be remembered by her family and so many people who adopted her as their “Gran”. She gave us the stars. She read poetry to us. Gran was 94, but she was timeless. Rest in peace with your B-17 pilot.