Betty Newton, 84, passed away February 19, 2023, at the home of her daughter in Oxford, Alabama. She was Born September 6, 1938, in Fordrick, Virginia to Mary Janet Fridley Burks. Betty was raised in The Virginia Baptist Children’s home in Blacksburg, Virginia until the age of 12. Then she moved to Baltimore, Maryland until she married and moved to Toledo, Ohio. After her husband’s passing, she moved back to Virginia for a time then in 1975 to Owensboro where she lived for many years until going to live with her daughter in Alabama. She and her sister Mary Geneva had many stories over the years of growing up in the “Orphanage.” She had fond memories of many people there and she loved growing up in the mountains of Virginia. She always called them “home.” She was a retired private duty in home caregiver.
Betty had a beautiful singing voice and was often heard singing gospel music, especially while cooking in the kitchen. There was probably no gospel song that she did not know by heart. Betty was a Christian who had a strong faith that carried her through a lot in her lifetime.
Betty was an avid reader and read hundreds of books in her lifetime. She also loved to travel. Her favorite places she traveled to where her daughter Karen’s house in Winston-Salem, NC, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls and seeing Mayan Ruins in Belize while on a cruise. She also talked a lot about going to Germany when her son was stationed there serving in the US Army.
Betty was a fan of most sports, especially college football and professional golf. She loved her Washington Redskins, Watching PGA, Kentucky Wildcat Basketball and football, and The Alabama Crimson Tide. Every Saturday during football season she could be heard cheering “Roll Tide.”
She was an excellent cook who could make a tasty meal out of almost anything. Holiday meals were huge and good at her house. She loved the holidays and cooking and baking for her large family.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Melvin N. Jr and Mary Janet Burks, two infant children, Ronald Ziehr and Julia Newton, daughter Sharon May Bruce (2017) and son Daniel Ziehr (2021), and sister Mary Geneva Newcomb.
Betty is survived by her Children; Karen (Mike) Clark of Winston Salem, NC, Donald F Ziehr, SR and Richard E Ziehr SR both of Owensboro and Lee Ann (Tim) Conner of Oxford, Alabama and her great granddaughter Jaiden Ziehr, of Birmingham, Alabama who she adopted and raised as her own. Sisters Virginia (Lee) Rogers of Covington, VA, Norma Jean Dodge (Joe) of Arizona City, AZ and her brother Melvin N Burks III (Donna) of Ooltewah, TN, 20 grandchildren and many great and great-great grandchildren, also many nieces’ nephews who she loved dearly.
Service will be Thursday, February 23, 2023, at 12:00 pm at Haley McGinnis Funeral Home & Crematory. Burial will follow at Rosehill-Elmwood Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday, February 22, 2023, from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and again Thursday from 10:00 am until the time of the service at the funeral home.
Haley McGinnis Funeral Home & Crematory is both honored and privileged to be entrusted with the care of Mrs. Newton. Leave your messages of condolence for the family of Betty Newton and sign her virtual guestbook at www.haleymcginnis.com.