Betty J. Harshbarger, 81, passed away peacefully at her home at 8:37 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, surrounded by her loving family. She had previously been diagnosed with colon cancer on April 27, 2012.
She was born Sunday, April 12, 1931, on a livestock farm in the Israel Church community of Montrose, a daughter of the late Isom Bodkin and Rosa Simmons Bodkin.
On April 25, 1951, at the First Baptist Church in Elkins, with the late Rev. H.L. Koontz officiating, she was married to C. Robert "Bob" Harshbarger, who preceded her in death on June 6, 2011. They had celebrated 60 years of marriage.
She is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth "Betsy" Katell of Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Joyce Hutton of Elkins; and four grandchildren, Leah Ann Katell, Erin Beth Katell, Zachary R. Hutton and wife, Brenda, and Jessica Lynn Hutton. She is also survived by one sister, Madelyn Hedrick of Elkins; one brother, Randall Bodkin and wife, Carol, of Montrose; a niece, Sonja Corbin and husband, Donnie, of Elkins; an aunt, Permilla "Midge" Arbogast of Elkins; and several other nieces and nephews.
Also preceding her in death was one brother-in-law, Donald Hedrick.
Betty's education began at Ivy Hill, a one-room school with eight grades, located in the Israel Church community. She graduated from Elkins High School with the class of 1948, where she obtained the skills to achieve her goal of becoming a secretary.
Her first employment after graduation was with RH Talbott Insurance Agency of Elkins; then she was employed by the Randolph County Board of Education in the principal's office of the "old" First Ward and Third Ward schools. Her final employment of 43 years was as a legal secretary in the Law Office of the late Raymond L. Fair, attorney at law, from which she retired June 17, 2004.
Betty was a caring, loving person with a friendly personality. She loved her home and treasured time she spent in making it a happy, comfortable place for her family and friends. A vegetable garden and flowering yard were also great sources of joy and a constant reminder of a wonderful childhood and life growing up on a "farm." During her teenage years, she became a member of Israel United Methodist Church at Kerens. After marriage, she worshipped with her family at the First Baptist Church in Elkins. She was a member of the Randolph County Senior Center and also a member of the Elkins Jaycettes for many years and enjoyed helping with the civic and community services provided by the organization.
Friends may call from 9 until 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 3, at Tomblyn Funeral Home in Elkins. A funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Monday from the funeral home chapel with the Rev. Dr. Marvin L. Parli officiating. Interment will follow in American Legion's Little Arlington Cemetery near Elkins.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of memorial contributions to Mountain Hospice, Inc., 1600 Crim Ave., Belington, WV 26250, in memory of Betty. Tomblyn Funeral Home of Elkins is in charge of the arrangements for Betty J. Harshbarger. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.tomblynuneralhome.com.