By: Sherry Williams Kidd | Email: Click Here
Posted: Feb. 25, 2018 | 12:55 p.m.
DINWIDDIE – A surprise birthday celebration was held on Saturday, February 17, to celebrate and honor a significant milestone in the life of a true Dinwiddie County treasure, Elizabeth “Betty” Love Bowen.
Betty is a 30-plus-year resident of Dinwiddie, and on this, her 85th birthday, she is as vibrant, energetic, and as full-of-life as if time had somehow stood still. “I am quickly approaching middle-age,” Betty commented!
Betty is Director of the Dinwiddie Historical Society, and has fulfilled these duties for the County for over 20-years as a volunteer. Like clockwork, you can find her at the Historic Dinwiddie Courthouse (HDC) every Tuesday and Thursday, and each year with the HDC Grand Illumination and Silent Auction.
“My Aunt Betty encouraged me to learn how to sew at the age of 49. I made my first project at the age of 50, due to the inspiration provided by my aunt,” said Tara Portee. “Betty is a sweet girl. I met her about 45-years ago. We are in a Sunday School class together, and she is just such a wonderful person to so many of us,” said Carlos Munoz.
Betty seemed to glow with joy, surrounded by family, friends, loved ones, county residents, and well-wishers! The entire room was filled with people expressing their love, admiration, and respect. “Age is just a number,” said Bowen.
Due to Betty being held in such high-esteem by residents across the entire county, she was honored and proclaimed the Grand Marshall in the 2013 Dinwiddie Christmas Parade. She is an active member of her church of many years, Ocran United Methodist, Sutherland. She is active in the Choir, Sunday School, and Day Circle. She enjoys people, humor, sewing, quilting, reading, possesses a superior memory, and has a tenacious drive to learn about absolutely everything.
It kind of makes you wonder what such a person like Betty does in her spare time—what spare time? Well, while Betty Bowen holds many titles, the one’s she holds most dear are being a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother. She has strong family and Christian values, and loves to spend time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. According to her family, when she hears the little ones calling her “Nanny,” the rest of the world goes away! She has five children, seven grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. Unbelievably, she remembers all of their birthdays!
Two of Betty’s daughters, Brenda Love Story, Colonial Heights, and Cynthia (Cindy) Love Bridgeman, Dewitt, planned this special surprise 85th birthday party for Betty! The joyous celebration was held at Ocran United Methodist Church. The large overflowing room buzzed with laughter, joy, and so many people relating their own personal stories about Betty. Brenda and Cindy said that their favorite saying of their mother, something they have heard repeatedly their entire lives, is, “what you need to do is . . .” Brenda explained, “This is because Mama has always had an answer to anything we are trying to brainstorm.” Brenda then chuckled and said that another of her mother’s favorite sayings is, “this is history.” “She always insisted that we attend anything going on in the county or in the area, or watch anything of importance going on when it was televised because she just knew that it would be historically important, and she was usually always right,” explained Brenda.
Cindy stated that another favorite saying of her mother is, “documentation, documentation, documentation!” “This is not just one of my mother’s sayings, this is the way she lives her life. As my mother stated in an interview several years ago, “preservation and conservation.” It is so important to my mother that all of us preserve everything, the tangible and the intangible, for future generations,” Cindy said.
Betty Bowen—truly a treasure to her family, her friends, all of those she touches in her volunteer work and in her church, and for all of Dinwiddie County.