Betty Shoaf Privette, 91, passed away peacefully on October 11, 2022. A joyful life well lived in service to family, friends, and community, her kind and sweet spirit was her hallmark.
She was born June 6, 1931, in Kannapolis, NC. She graduated from J.W. Cannon High School in 1949, where she was vice president of the student body and class salutatorian.
She was a 1951 graduate of Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, NC, then a junior college, where she was president of the Clio Literary Society. She went on to receive her B.A. at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
Following graduation, Betty was the religious educational director at Oakhurst Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC, and then worked at Mars Hill College in alumni and public relations. Her heartfelt commitment and connection to Mars Hill College (now University) lasted a lifetime as she regularly coordinated reunion gatherings for her 1951 class and cherished their time together.
Betty married Coy C. Privette in 1958 and raised four daughters in Kannapolis, where she loved being active in the community and at her church, North Kannapolis Baptist. Betty taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School for decades, hosted and prepared dinners for church volunteers, and led many other churchwide activities. With a heart for serving and missions, over many summers, she led groups to a Baptist retreat in Ridgecrest, NC, and taught English in China.
Betty retired to Piedmont Crossing Retirement Community in Thomasville in 2007. While there, she made dear friends and was a member of First Baptist Church in Lexington, where she also taught a Sunday School class. She recently relocated to Raleigh to be closer to her daughters.
An accomplished artist, Betty was involved for many years with the Cabarrus County Art Guild, serving as president for several terms. Her talent will live on and be cherished by family and friends, as she prolifically produced volumes of watercolors, pen and inks, and acrylics that filled her walls and fills the walls of her children, grandchildren, and numerous friends. She was also known for her Christmas card designs, annually and meticulously creating different hand-drawn designs featuring family—so loved was this gesture that many friends boasted of collecting the decades-long series. In retirement, she continued to share her love of art by leading an art class for Piedmont Crossing residents.
She was also a talented seamstress, having made countless Easter, prom, college formal, and bridesmaid dresses as well as Halloween costumes, drapery, pillows, bedspreads, and headboards, even designing her own patterns and adding embroidered or hand-painted embellishments.
A jack of all trades, Betty not only could sew and paint but also was an impressive cook, baker, crafter, carpenter, and gardener. If her children, grandchildren, church, or community had a need, she would figure out how to make it happen with her signature creativity and hard work. Betty also stayed busy over the years attending sporting and other performance events of her children and grandchildren, one of her most treasured activities. Most of all, she was kind, fun loving, and a friend to all.
Betty was preceded in death by her father, Olin Everett (O.E.) Shoaf, and mother, Ruth Myers Shoaf; sister, Norma Shoaf Dussault; and husband, Coy C. Privette. Betty is survived by her daughters and their families: Denise and David Sherman and son John; Lori Hinnant and sons Andy, Walt, and Peter; Amy and Rick Perko and daughters Anna and Kate; Melanie and Tristan Caudron and sons Will, Ben, and Ryan and daughter Emma; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
In her spirit of giving, Betty donated her body for medical education and training to Wake Forest University School of Medicine. In lieu of flowers, a tribute gift may be made to the Betty Shoaf Privette Memorial Fund at her beloved Mars Hill University, P.O. Box 6792, Mars Hill, NC 28754 or at https://www.mhu.edu/alumni/giving/.
A memorial service to honor Betty’s life will be held on November 26, 2022, at 2:00 pm at First Baptist Church, 201 West Third Avenue, Lexington, NC.
“Well done, good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25:23
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