Betty Bea Cox, formerly of Fairmont, WV went peacefully to be with her Lord and Savior on Thursday, April 7, 2022. Betty had been residing over the past three years in Mt. Pleasant, SC, fulfilling her lifelong dream, to live near the beach.
Those who have gone before her to Heaven include her husband of sixty-one years, Hubert “Bud” W. Cox, Jr., whom she married in 1955, her mother, Catherine E. Pearson, step-father, Gilbert S. Pearson, her father, Paul K. Barret, and step-mother, Mary Catherine Barret, all from Fairmont, WV.
Those that she leaves behind here on earth until we are reunited again in Heaven include: her brother, the Honorable Ronald G. Pearson (Beth High) of Charleston, WV, Daughters and Son-In-Laws, Belinda F. Clyde (Tim) of Mt. Pleasant, SC, and Margaret Jane “Janie” Robinson (William) of Martinsburg, WV, her stepson, Gary M. Cox (Andrea) of Fairmont, only remaining cousin, Kay Bilisoly (Winston) from Goose Creek, SC, a niece, Dr. Kerry Pearson (Dr. Drew Nowakowski), and great-nephew, Aiden, in Perrysburg, Ohio, and Nephew, Rand Pearson, in Olympia, WA.
Betty also lovingly leaves behind a total of nine grandchildren: Justin Clyde (Kelly), Andrew Clyde (Alexis), Tevin Clyde (Jon Ridinger), Ashley Annonio Smelser (Nathan), Brianne Waslo Johnson (Michael), Jillian Waslo Pirkle (Wayne), Heather M. Cox-McClain, Stephanie Cox Pethtel (Kevin), and Seth Cox (Danielle).
Great Grandchildren include: Hayden, Titus, and Keaton Clyde (Justin), Addison, Brooklyn, Scarlett and Vivien Clyde (Andrew), Ross and Reese Smelser (Ashley), Jordan and Emjae Johnson (Brianne), Weston Lowery and Logan Pirkle (Jill), Noah and Trey Pethtel (Stephanie Cox), Caden, Ellie, and Lucas Cox (Seth Cox).
Betty retired from West Virginia University in 2016, after completing a total of 25 years in Student Activities within the WVU Mountainlair, as well as the WVU Student Recreation Center. She was featured in a newspaper article in 2008 in the Times West Virginia as “Everyone’s Grandma”. While at WVU she quickly demonstrated her many hospitality skills in dealing with people from every walk of life–students, faculty, staff, Administrators, and the public, all with her contagiously beautiful smile and talents. Her contributions to the activities and atmosphere of WVU always exceeded the requirements listed on her job descriptions, to include theater, music, and storytelling. A few other rewards that were bestowed upon Betty within her 25 years of outstanding service to WVU includes:
*1996 – Awarded “Clerical Employee of the Year” at the WVU Mountainlair
*1996 – Served on the Planning Committee for the 1st WV Storytelling Festival held at WVU’s Jackson’s Mill, where she served for the next 10 years.
*2004 – Recognized by the WVU Student Foundation as “The Most Loyal Mountaineer.
* 2007 - Received the Paul “Buck” Martin Award for her outstanding service to WVU.
*2016 - Inducted into the WVU Student Life Hall of Fame for 25 years of service to WVU.
*2020 – Recognition of Associate Member (WVU Mountainlair) Mush & Milk, with strong student endorsement.
Betty was also known in Fairmont as an accomplished vocalist, who lovingly led and directed the Choir of Fleming Memorial Church for a total of 50 years.
In addition, Betty was also loved and admired for her involvement in Fairmont State College Masquers and Gown Players, many of which were Broadway Musicals. Betty Bea most always carried a major role in such plays as South Pacific (Nellie Forbush), Hello Dolly (Dolly), Life with Father (Vinnie), Mame (Sally), My Fair Lady (Madame La Comtesse Franklin), The King and I (Lady Thiang), Fiddler On The Roof (Tevye’s wife Golda), Babes in Arms (Bunny Byron, theater owner), Carousel (Cousin Nettie Fowler), Annie (Warbuck’s Secretary Grace Farrell), The Music Man (Mrs. Paroo), and Steel Magnolia’s (Ouiser). Betty also served Marion County in events such as the Coal Festival Fashion Extravaganza, the MAC Benefit Fashion Gala, Awards Banquets for the Fairmont Junior League (dramatic arts), and the Fairmont Arts & Humanities Commission.
In addition, Betty also won the Memorial Trophy at the West Virginia Association of Photographers contest held in the Daniel Boone Hotel in Charleston, WV in September of 1952. The picture, photographed by Ray Stoker, a local photographer and business man of Fairmont, was taken to advertise the “Sunbow Sun Shield”, which was invented by the former Paul Huston of Fairmont. The photo was later enlarged in bronze in the contest of the Member of Fairmont’s Personnel Department.
A small family grave-site “Celebration of Life” Ceremony will be held for the family in the Harmony Grove Cemetery in Grafton, W.V. where the cremation remains of both Betty and Bud will be laid to rest together.
Her entire family is most appreciative of all those who have reached out in various ways to display your love and favorite memories of our mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, Aunt, friend, etc. We will ALL hold her very close in our hearts, until we meet again one day in Heaven. In lieu of flowers or gifts, we ask that donations be made to the “Kenneth and Carolyn Gray Emergency Fund (2W671)” in memory of Betty Bea Cox at the WVU Foundation:
The Student Emergency Funds are reserved for currently enrolled students who experience a true emergency causing a financial hardship. Betty had a special place in her heart for the students and great respect for Ken Gray and the programs that she helped plan for him at WVU. God Bless!! The Family of Betty Bea Barret Cox.
Local arrangements have been entrusted to the Ford Funeral Home, Ford Chapel, 201 Columbia Street, Fairmont, WV 26554. 1-304-363-3130