Betty Rand Coward Stillwell
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.
She grew up in Garner and was a member of Garner United Methodist Church and enjoyed shepherding her three younger sisters. At 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 its board of trustees. She graduated from University of North Carolina-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 Sylva First Baptist Church, she served as a deacon, sang alto in the choir, and led projects and fundraisers 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.
She 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; and 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 from 5-7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Mission and Fellowship Center, 669 West Main Street, Sylva. The memorial service was Saturday April 6 at 11 a.m. at the church with interment at Grassy Creek, Tuckaseigee.
Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church Sylva -- Choir Fund, 669 W. Main St., Sylva, NC 28779, Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, P.O. Box 338, Thomasville, NC 27360, Doctors Without Borders USA, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown MD 21741-5030, or a charity of your choice.