×

Teague Funeral Service

2260 Ivy RD, Charlottesville, VA

OBITUARY

Barbara-lyn Belcher

April 16, 1944July 24, 2020

Barbara-lyn Belcher, age 76, passed away on Friday, July 24, 2020 after a brief illness.

Barbara-lyn, affectionately known as B-l, was born on April 16, 1944 in the historic Morningside House in Emory, VA to the late Rudolph Harvey and Pearl Lou Keene Belcher. That storied birth was the beginning of a lifetime full of adventures that centered around her beloved family, especially her children and grandchildren, friends, former students and colleagues in the various careers she had.

Barbara-lyn grew up in Buchanan County, deeply rooted in her Methodist faith. She graduated in 1962 from Garden High School, where she served in several student leadership roles. She then headed to Radford University, where she graduated just three years later with a degree in English. During this time, she pursued what was a life-long passion for social justice and change. Drawn to DC, she held an internship at the Post Office while supporting vigils for the passage of civil rights legislation.

Next, she served as Associate Director of the Wesley Foundation at the University of Tennessee and later earned a M.Ed. at the University of Virginia. A series of teaching experiences ensued in New Jersey and Charlottesville, and a move to Boston in 1977 led to a professional degree from the New England School of Photography. She loved being a student as much as she enjoyed teaching.

After making her home in Richmond, Barbara-lyn worked as a legislative aide to Delegate Pete Giesen. She would then become the first Principal of the newly-formed Richmond Community High School, where she worked tirelessly to build authentic relationships with former students, co-workers, family members and colleagues. Under her leadership, this institution became one of the top-ranked high schools in the nation.

Barbara-lyn then became Executive Director of Leadership Metro Richmond before moving back to her beloved Emory from 1992 to 2006 to serve as “first volunteer” for Emory & Henry College as well as the surrounding community. After she “retired” to Wintergreen, B-l became a student of wine and enjoyed her role at Veritas Winery.

Throughout her life, Barbara-lyn’s love of language was to remain as constant as her faith. Her career spanned almost four decades as an educator and leader. B-l was a freelance writer and a fundraiser with an eye for art and photography. Poetry was her elixir, theater energized her, American politics captured her interest, and travel filled her spirit. She could fill a conversation with stories of travel about trips to Peru, Europe, China and across the United States, including visits to New York and her beloved Santa Fe.

Barbara-lyn is survived by three daughters, Tabbitha Lyn Morris-Barnes of Richmond, Robbins Morris Cox and husband Tony of Henrico, and Rosa-Lyn Vaughan Morris and husband Eric Livingston of Ashburn, and their father, Thomas R. Morris of Richmond. She found profound joy in the love of her five grandchildren: Anthony Barnes, Kylie Morris-Cox, Mac Cox, Henry Livingston, and Abigail Livingston. Brother Rusty Belcher and wife Melissa; four nieces and nephews Brook Baker and husband Brian, Nick Belcher and wife Courtney, Katelyn Belcher and Zeren Belcher; her Aunt Lorraine Williams; and an army of loving cousins also survive her. She also leaves to mourn her loving and supportive life companion, Alfred G. “Buddy” Goodykoontz and a family of RCHS students. In addition to her parents, Barbara-lyn was preceded in death by daughter, Sheila, an infant son, and beloved aunts and uncles.

A private memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 1st and live stream details will be made available. The family is being supported by Teague in Charlottesville. A public memorial will be planned for July 2021. Memorial contributions may be made to the historic Smyth Chapel Church in Emory: Friends of Smyth, PO Box 208, Meadowview, VA 24361, and to The Nature Foundation of Wintergreen, 3421 Wintergreen Drive, Roseland, VA 22967.

Services

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, August 1, 2020

    VIEW VIDEO

Memories

Barbara-lyn Belcher

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Tunya Cosby

August 6, 2020

For our 25th Class Reunion, the Richmond Community High School's Class of 1981, the school's first graduating class, presented a memorial plaque to B-l, our former school principal, head teacher, other-mother, and friend.

The memorial plaque includes thank-you notes from class members and memorable photos. Around the border of the piece are 22 words that come to mind when we think of B-l, such as change agent, global citizen, runner, ingenious.

In her note, our classmate Linda (Rivers) Seabrooks thanked B-L for (please see below):

MARY BOLTWOOD

August 5, 2020

I was so sorry to hear this news. I have such fond memories of the energetic dynamo Barbara-lyn was on Emory & Henry's campus. She always had a smile for all and she will be missed.

Tunya Cosby

August 4, 2020

For our 25th Class Reunion, the Richmond Community High School's Class of 1981, the school's first graduating class, presented a memorial plaque to B-l, our former school principal, head teacher, other-mother, and friend.

The memorial plaque includes thank-you notes from class members and memorable photos. Around the border of the piece are 22 words that come to mind when we think of B-l, such as change agent, global citizen, runner, ingenious.

In his note, our classmate Howvard Brooks' thanked B-L for (Please see below):

Tunya Cosby

August 3, 2020

For our 25th Class Reunion, the Richmond Community High School's Class of 1981, the school's first graduating class, presented a memorial plaque to B-l, our former school principal, head teacher, other-mother, and friend.

The memorial plaque includes thank-you notes from class members and memorable photos. Around the border of the piece are 22 words that come to mind when we think of B-l, such as change agent, global citizen, runner, ingenious.

For the thank-you notes embedded into the memorial plaque, class members responded to a simple prompt:
"B-l, thank you for ____________.

I attach a photo of the memorial plaque below. Over the next few days, I'll post some of the expressions of thanks from class members - one each day.

Anna May Charrington

August 1, 2020

Our son Todd led a BL Memorial Workout this morning, August 1, at the Philadelphia Barnes Foundation Art Museum where B-l, Rosa, Abigail and Anna May gathered last fall. Each block that spells BL has a different exercise on it. The group did 7+6 reps of each for her age 76.

Glenna & Lucy Harlow

August 1, 2020

We grew up with Barbara Lynn and knew her family well. We’re so proud that she contributed so much and our deepest sympathy goes out to her family and friends.

Joy Harris

July 31, 2020

It was my good fortune to meet Barbara Lyn when she was adding onto and remodeling her Wintergreen house to make it her permanent residence. She was one of my first interior design clients there. It was such a pleasure working with this vivacioius and fun lady to help her get the finishing touches she wanted for her home. She had just been to Mexico and was so enthusiastic about all the bright colors there and wanted those for her new spaces. She had several large paintings that suggested suitable colors. We painted several walls with those strong, bright colors in the main living area. Such a reflection of this remarkable person! She has remained a good friend and made my time at
Wintergreen so very enjoyable. I will miss her tremendously!
She leaves such a wonderful legacy in so many areas. Just irreplaceable!

Anna May Charrington

July 31, 2020

I first met Barbara Lyn and Tom at Peter’s 5th VMI reunion, which instantly kindled what became a life-long friendship. This relationship sparked years of outings, from Sugarbush, VT to St. John and even Paris, when US Airways began its maiden flights to France. While living states apart, we stayed in touch, converging in Philadelphia for Eagles – dare I say Redskins – games, and at Wintergreen for family ski trips. Later outings included a Veritas winery evening with her partner Buddy. One Wintergreen memory happened days after bears had broken into her property. When I voiced concern about safety on a hike, B-l said it would not be a problem. As we walked, fellow hikers coming our way pointed excitedly behind us. We turned to see a mama bear and cub crossing the road exactly where we had been minutes earlier!

As the years passed, we became texting buddies. Cheerleading boasts fed our football rivalry, and we flaunted our Super Bowl win. I also remember trading texts on election night in November ‘08 and ’12, cheering on our mutual candidate till both VA and PA went for Obama. As a testament to her loving nature, B-l was a favorite with our 3 children. B-l’s compassion for people was apparent privately within her family as well as publicly in diversity events and as principal of the nationally-recognized high school in Richmond. I am so thankful that B-l accompanied Rosa Lyn and Abigail on a business trip to Philadelphia last fall, where we talked and toured the Barnes Foundation. That was the last time I saw her. B-l was a strong, loving person; I loved her and will miss her greatly.

Carolyn Click

July 31, 2020

Barbara-Lyn's physical loss to this world is too sad to contemplate, especially to the family she adored and featured on Facebook with such delight. But I know her spirit will live on in all the people she loved and laughed with through the years.
I learned to know her and Tom when I was a college legislative intern for Del. A.R. "Pete" Giesen and others in the Shenandoah Valley delegation. Barbara-lyn was his chief aide and I trailed after her to committee meetings and General Assembly sessions and Chicken's lunch counter, where I copied her daily lunch - a hard-boiled egg and Cheez-its. She wore hats (hats!), had loads of feminist girlfriends, was fiercely progressive in matters of race and equality and seemed to know everyone. On Fridays, she sent me out to search for gasoline so that Pete could drive his station wagon home (it was the era of the OPEC oil embargo). She laughed about that a lot, thinking of me circling those service stations.
I watched as she embraced those wonderful kids at Richmond Community High and then her own children, Sheila, Robbins, Tabby and Rosa. They were magic to her, I think. As were her grandchildren and all the other "children" she mentored over the years. I wished that we lived closer to each other so my own children could have felt a bit of that pixie dust. Some of the magic is out of this world but, wow, did she have a lasting influence on so many people! One of her photographs that she called "Metamorphosis" hangs in our home and is a reminder of her always evolving, exhilarating life.
Carolyn, Jay, Catherine Ann and Henry
The Click-Taylor Family

Christopher Bach

July 30, 2020

Our deepest condolences to the family and friends on the passing of Barbara-lyn, an absolute gem of a woman. Her radiant personality and boundless enthusiasm for life will be missed. Thank you, Bl, for sharing and supporting, giving and blessing.

Tammy and Christopher

FROM THE FAMILY

Learn more about the Belcher name

VISIT ANCESTRY.COM