BETTY SUE HERNDON LEE died peacefully on Thursday, July 1, 2021, at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare in Wilmington, N.C. She was the loving wife of the late MSgt. Billie Ray Lee, U.S.A.F., retired, who passed in December 2020.
Betty was born in Blount County, Ala., on Nov. 1, 1940, to the late James Robert and Ora Emma (Foust) Herndon. The family resided in Blountsville and attended Blountsville Baptist Church. She attended J.B. Pennington High School before marrying Billie in 1956. Shortly after their marriage, Billie joined the U.S. Air Force and they began their 20-year adventure serving our country. They were stationed in Oklahoma, California, Mississippi, Alabama, Minnesota, and finally North Carolina at Fort Fisher Air Force Station. Along the way, they had three children in three different states in less than three years. Billie also served two tours in Iceland during this time. At his retirement ceremony in February 1977, Betty was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. Air Force “for her own unselfish, faithful, and devoted service. Her unfailing support and understanding helped to make possible her husband’s lasting contribution to the Nation.”
After moving to North Carolina, Betty discovered yard sales. Every Saturday became a treasure hunt as we got up early to see what we could find. She met many fellow treasure hunters who became dear friends. After a while, she started selling some of her finds at flea markets. She established her own business “Collectors Haven” and had booths at different venues such as the Star-Way flea market, the Swap-a-rama, the Thieves Market, and Tradewinds flea market. She even managed to find a son-in-law at the Star-Way with the help of his parents.
Betty enjoyed being a homemaker and Christmas was her favorite time of the year. She had a talent for decorating, and if you stood still too long, you might find yourself wrapped in garland. Thanks to her love and creativity we have many wonderful Christmas memories to cherish.
Betty is survived by her three children Kayla Lee Williams and husband Rory, Kevin Ray Lee and wife Kim, Donna Lee West and husband David, and two grandchildren Katie and Cameron Lee, all of Wilmington. She also has many cousins and nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents; husband; infant brothers James Lucian and Frank Robert Herndon; sisters Daphine Herndon Martin and husband Henry, Allene Herndon Turley and husband Ocie; nieces Barbara Joyce Turley, Janice Martin Bonham, Laurie Lee Workman, and Carla Ann Workman; and nephews Carl MacArthur Workman and Michael Glenn Lee.
The funeral service was held Friday, July 9, at 11 a.m., at Andrews Mortuary Valley Chapel with graveside services at noon at Greenlawn Memorial Park. Visitation was an hour before the service. Services were officiated by Dr. Gordon Wright Jr. Serving as pallbearers were Glenn Turley, Greg Lee, Chris Lee, Cameron Lee, Rory Williams, and Jim Talton. Honorary pallbearers were Hubert Lee, Keith Martin, and David West.
The family would like to express heartfelt thanks to the staff at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare for their incredible compassionate care of Mom in her last days. While Mom did love flowers, please consider a gift to LifeCare instead if you feel led to. Donations may be made to Lower Cape Fear LifeCare, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401.
Please leave online condolences at www.andrewsmortuary.com.
-obituary written by family