Betty Jean Hayes Ganaway , age 78, was born on November 7th, 1936. She went home to be with the Lord on June 25th, 2015, surrounded by her loving family and friends. Betty Jean was preceded in death by her parents, Mr. LeRoy and Margaret Hayes Coleman, step father, Lee Coleman, and loving husband, Theodore William Ganaway (Billy).
She is survived by two daughters, Deidra (DD) Hairston and Cecilia (CC) Branch , son in law, Claude Branch; seven siblings Mr.Roy Hayes (Connie), Mr. Carlos Hayes, Mr. Tommy Hayes, (Pam Pierce), Mrs. Evelyn Robinson, Mrs. Elizabeth (Dido) Houston and Dub, Mrs. Glenda Fullen, and Mrs. Margaret Hairston, four grandchildren, Ryan Branch and wife Amy, Michael (Mitch) Branch, Theodore (Theo) Ganaway, Ckareekeea Branch, and one great grandchild, Cameron Branch. She is survived by her sister in law, Mrs. Carolyn Lee, brother in law, Mr. George(GE) and Norene Ganaway, and Mr. Melvin and Helen Russell. She is also survived by a special cousin, Mrs. Evelyn Polk and several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Betty Jean was born in Montgomery County, (Blacksburg) Virginia. She moved to Marion, Virginia as a child, then later moved to Chilhowie. She attended Carnegie High School where she graduated. She later moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she worked. She devoted herself to helping her mother care for and provide for her younger siblings. She later moved back to Chilhowie where she married Billy Ganaway.
In 2009, she retired from Head Start Program, where she was employed as a food preparation nutritionist. Betty was an active member of The First Baptist Church of Chilhowie where she served as Head Usher and on the food committee for many years. Betty Jean headed the Black History Month activities for the community. She served on the Carnegie Alumni Board as well as the Back to Chilhowie Reunion Committee.
Betty Jean was a well loved mother to many. She had a great sense of humor. She often called and visited the elderly and anyone sick and in need. In addition, she would make sure the forgotten ones in the community were included in special holiday occasions, including carrying baskets, mailing cards, making phone calls, and delivering care packages, flowers, prayers, love, and words of encouragement to all. She was well known for her” Hayes “ hugs and whether you received one or not, you knew she cared about you because of her actions.
Betty Jean was loved by many and will be greatly missed.
Services will be held at 2:00PM Sunday, June 28, 2015 at First Baptist Church, 135 Railroad Drive, Chilhowie, VA. The family will receive friends from 1:00PM until the hour of service. Pastor Dwayne Mabry officiating. Burial will follow at Westwood Memorial Gardens.