Betty Jo Bates

11 February, 193016 September, 2020

Betty Jo Bates, age 90, of Culpeper, Virginia, passed away on September 16, 2020. She was born February 11, 1930, in Huddleston, Virginia, to Garrett and Eva (Laughon) Woodford. Betty Jo graduated from Mary Washington College with a degree in education with a major in art and a minor in Spanish. She taught public school for 30 years, beginning in Norfolk, Virginia, but mostly in Culpeper County. She taught fourth grade for many years and finished as an art teacher at Culpeper County Jr. High School. After retirement, Betty Jo served as the “Picture Lady” at Pearl Sample Elementary School.

Community service was very important to Betty Jo. She was a member of the W.M.U. at Culpeper Baptist church for many years and also served as president. She taught 6th grade Sunday School, was an integral part of beginning the Culpeper Baptist Child Development Center, and served on innumerable committees. She was a long time member and past president of the Culpeper Garden Club. In addition, she was very active in and past president of the Culpeper affiliate of the Virginia Retired Teacher Association, serving on the state level as well. For many years she fulfilled innumerable requests for artwork for various community functions.

While teaching in Norfolk, Betty Jo met the new extension agent for Culpeper County, Marvin Lee Bates. They were married on July 24, 1954 and were married for 49 years. Betty Jo was well known for her sense of humor and she loved being outside, gardening, old movies, art and anything with Tom Selleck. Above all, she was a devoted servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and passed on her love of Christ as an enduring legacy.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, William G. Woodford, Jr. and Marcus Woodford and her devoted husband, Marvin Lee Bates. She is survived by her sister Sibyl Woodford Newton (Louis), her sister in law, Loretta Woodford LaPrade (J.B.); her sons, Lawrence Lee Bates (Denise), Bruce Randolph Bates (Lisa); her daughter, Janet Bates Kay (Bryan); 9 grandchildren; and 3 great grandchildren with one more on the way.

Visitation with the family will be Saturday, September 26, 2020, 10:00am – 11:00am at Culpeper Baptist Church, 318 S. West St., Culpeper, Virginia, followed by the Memorial Service at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be made to Culpeper Baptist Church.

Fond memories and condolences may be shared with the Bates family through The Bates family has entrusted Clore-English Funeral Home with these arrangements.


  • Visitation

    Saturday, 26 September , 2020

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, 26 September , 2020


Betty Jo Bates

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Tammy Hartman

28 November 2020

So sorry to hear about Mrs. Bates passing. She was my art teacher many years ago at Pearl Sample. Great teacher and lady. Thoughts and prayers are with her family 💖.

William and Susan Thomas

24 September 2020

William and I wish to offer our sympathy to all of the Bates family in the loss of your mother, Betty Jo. We regret that due to age and health issues, we would be ill advised to be in a closely gathered group at the visitation. We will be at the live stream of the funeral. We witnessed Betty Jo's positive and giving spirit both at Culpeper Middle School and at Culpeper Baptist. We considered her to be a great friend. Her talent was amazing. She prepared many certificates for Latin students over the years and made them look so special. She also prepared name tags for 4-H All Star events on multiple occasions. You have been blessed to have her as your mother for 90 years. Unfortunately, her loss of vision in recent years kept her from doing the things that powered her soul.

It is never easy to lose a parent, but we hope that you are able to give thanks for the wonderful woman you were privileged to call Mother. She has been greatly missed at church , and at retired teachers when her faithful attendance was no longer possible.
Again, she was a special lady. We feel privileged to have had her as a part of our lives.

From the Family
From the Family