Betty Rand Coward Stillwell
SIX MILE, SOUTH CAROLINA - Betty Rand Coward Stillwell, of Six Mile, South Carolina passed away peacefully on March 30, 2019 surrounded by her family.
She was born in Raleigh on Jan. 8, 1934 to William Roscoe and Elizabeth Purnell Rand. She was preceded in death by her sister, Billie Frances, her parents, and her first husband, James Kent Coward Sr.
Betty grew up in Garner, North Carolina and was a member of Garner United Methodist Church and enjoyed shepherding her three younger sisters. At the age of 16, she won a trip to Hollywood in a national contest in dressmaking sponsored by McCall’s Pattern Company.
She attended Meredith College and in later years served as a member of the board of trustees. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a major in English and received a master’s degree in library science from Western Carolina University. As librarian at Scott’s Creek Elementary School, she fostered the love of reading to every child who walked through the library door.
A devoted member of First Baptist Church in Sylva, Betty served as a deacon, sang alto in the choir, and led projects and fund-raisers to benefit the growth of the church. She served on the board of directors at the Baptist Children’s Home of North Carolina. She participated on mission trips to Arkansas, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Thailand and Ukraine, and in community missions work in Sylva and in Clemson South Carolina. Hers’ was a vibrant faith in every way, full of grace and beauty.
She loved any gathering of friends or family, especially at Grassy Creek and Ocean Isle Beach. Her creativity showed up in special treats for children, flowers from field and garden, and always something beautiful from every season, even if only on the kitchen windowsill.
Betty is survived by her husband, E.P. Stillwell Jr. of Six Mile; sons J.K. Coward Jr. (Renée) of Sylva, the Honorable William H. Coward (Kim) of Highlands; daughter Elizabeth Coward Rand of Asheville; step-daughters Elizabeth Cohen (David) of New York, and Brooke Stillwell of Six Mile; sisters Margaret Rand Hilpert (John) of Louisburg and Mary Marshall Culp (Robert) of Hillsborough; nine beloved grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation was Friday, April 5, 2019 at the First Baptist Church Mission and Fellowship Center at 669 West Main Street in Sylva. The memorial service was Saturday April 6, 2019 at the church with interment at Grassy Creek, in Tuckaseigee.
Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church Sylva - Choir Fund, 669 West Main St., Sylva NC 28779, Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, PO Box 338, Thomasville NC 27360, Doctors Without Borders USA, PO Box 5030, Hagerstown MD, 21741-5030, or a charity of choice.