DURHAM- DURHAM—Betty Berenthien Wilson died peacefully at the age of 89 on Thursday morning, June 2, 2016, at Croasdaile Village Pavilion.
Betty was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1926, the first child of Theodor Christian Berenthien and Marian Stubbs Berenthien, and grew up in Macon, Georgia. She attended the Georgia State College for Women and graduated from Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, where she met her husband, Robert Leroy Wilson. After marrying in 1950, they taught English in Havana, Cuba, for several years. The couple lived in Chicago, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, Willingboro, NJ, and Cranford, NJ. They moved to Durham in 1970. Bob Wilson taught at the Duke University Divinity School, and Betty was a homemaker.
Betty was a member of Epworth United Methodist Church for forty-six years. An avid reader, she founded the Church’s library in 1976 and served as its librarian. On her retirement in 2008 the library was named in her honor. Over the years, Betty was a generous participant in many church and civic organizations, and was always busy volunteering for charitable causes and attending arts events with her friends. She was deeply devoted to her extended family throughout her life. Betty’s long life spanned many changes in times, ideas, and customs. Through it all she maintained a sense of humor, a lively inquiring mind, and an old-time southern courtesy that was in her case genuine down-to-the bone kindness and love.
Betty is survived by: four siblings: Barbara Deaver (Charlottesville, VA), Helen Berenthien (Columbus, GA), Theodor Berenthien (Baltimore, MD), and Marian Platt (Wake Forest, NC); her two children and their spouses: Keith A. Wilson and Ann Romanczuk (St Paul, MN), and Marian Wilson Kimber and Michael Kimber (Iowa City, IA); three grandchildren: Victoria Wilson, Alexander Wilson (and his spouse Sarah Wilson), and Jonathan Kimber; one great-grandchild, Zoe Wilson; four nieces, four great-nephews, and many dear friends.
A memorial service will be held at Epworth United Methodist Church on Wednesday July 6, 2016, at 1 pm. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Urban Ministries of Durham, P.O. Box 249, Durham, NC 27702, or https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/UMDurham.
The Wilson family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Online condolences: www.hallwynne.com, select obituaries