Eleanor Schubart Betts was born to George and Lillian Gladys McComb in East Orange, New Jersey on February 28, 1927. She went to Berkeley Secretarial School and worked in several offices over the years. In Louisburg, she was a legal secretary in the offices of Davis & Sturges in the early 1970s.
But she had many skills. An artist, she drew and painted beautiful landscapes. A needleworker, she accomplished extraordinary quilts, lovely prom dresses, and detailed embroidery and crewel work. A lover of the written word, she left her family written accounts of her life's observations and history that are treasured and fun reading. Her booklets include poems she loved and some that she wrote.
Ellie married her high school sweetheart, Ken Schubart in 1949, after he came home from the Pacific Theatre in WWII. They shared a love of music and loved to dance. They moved to North Carolina to be near family and lived in Ahoskie and Louisburg. Ellie sang in the church choir. She loved to make her husband's favorite foods, German specialties his mother had made. Once he returned to their newly-wed apartment and remarked that the woman down the hall made something that smelled like heaven one day a week, and he was tempted to stop every time. He asked if she could get the recipe. As fate would have it, when their first daughter was born, that woman down the hall was assigned to share a hospital room with Ellie and their little girls became playmates. The Spaghetti Recipe that was shared along with their friendship is still a treasure in Ellie's family, now loved by sons-in-law and grandchildren alike.
The couple moved several times and each seemed an adventure. One move was to Onancock, Virginia, where they bought a boat and enjoyed the Chesapeake area and interesting places like Chincoteague for seafood dinners, and Folly's Creek for flounder fishing. Eventually the couple returned to North Carolina where they located in Lillington with their youngest daughter, Pam.
When Ken died at 63, Ellie was bereft. In a couple of years, Howard Watkins, became a good friend and they married, enjoying many happy times at home in Lillington and at Howard's mountain cabin near Burnsville. They hosted many friends there and enjoyed the scenic beauty of the area. Ellie even filled the pulpit at their little country church on a Sunday or two when their visiting pastor could not. In time, Howard passed and she was again alone.
Resolving to be happy, Ellie did volunteer work and helped out at church. She drove for friends who needed rides to doctor's appointments. She took movies to the local nursing home and visited residents. Ellie met Wallace Betts from nearby Buie's Creek and they quickly found a friendship. They eventually married and enjoyed Campbell College cultural events and took several trips, one with his daughter Elaine and husband Bob Mccollum to Ireland. It was a special time and Ellie relished seeing the land her father's family had come from.
Ellie lived her last years with her daughter Jill and her family in a special apartment she built onto their home. They cared for her lovingly and shared happy times with her (and Ken's) grandchildren and great grandchildren. Daughter Pam was a regular weekday visitor after retirement, spending time together. Ellie gave lovely Bridesmaid's luncheons, with all the trimmings, for each of her grandchildren as they married. Four of them!
Ellie and Ken modeled a loving marriage for their daughters, Cindy Garrison (Garrie), Jill Wester (Vann) and Pam Long (Russell). She had four grandchildren she adored, Heather Garrison Singletary (Chris), Amy Garrison Grindstaff (Shawn), Mindy Wester Owens (Jon) and Kevin Wester (Meredith). Joy came along with three great grandchildren, Lillian Owens, named for Ellie's mother, and Lillian's sister Allison Owens, and Brinley Reagan Wester, her littlest one.
Ellie lived simply, but loved well and deeply. She had a deep faith in God and knew Jesus to be her beloved Savior. We, her children, are thankful that she helped pass on the gift of faith to us and we are comforted that she is Home at long last.
In lieu of flowers, Ellie requested gifts be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, or The American Cancer Society, or the Hospice and Home care Foundation of North Carolina. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.montlawn.com.