Betty Isabell Compton
October 22, 1923 – May 16, 2020
Betty Isabell Sparkhall Compton, beloved “Grammy Bear,” peacefully transitioned to the other side on May 16, 2020 at the age of 96 years. She was born to George and Mary Sparkhall on October 22, 1923 in Toronto, Canada and grew up in Ontario during the Depression Era. At the tender age of 18, and in the midst of World War II, the red-haired maiden fell in love with Mel Compton, a handsome, young, mustachioed American serviceman who was undergoing pilot training nearby with the Royal Canadian Air Force. In short order, they were married just prior to his departure overseas to fly heavy Halifax bombers. After the war, Mel and Betty returned to his native Virginia and built a house, “Flatpatch,” in Mechanicsville, and over a 47 year marriage they raised four children, Michael, Jody, Mark and Linda.
Throughout her life, Betty was foremost a devoted mother, wife and homemaker. At the same time, she pursued a wide array of artistic endeavors, paramount of which were her skills with needle, thread and cloth … she was a seamstress extraordinaire. Over her lifetime, Betty crafted a multitude of handmade dresses, pleated skirts, ornately embroidered blouses, fashionable suits, coats and jackets, as well as a magnificent wedding dress. Her needlework skills spilled over into knitted sweaters for the family, curtains and drapes that decorated the house, quilted bedspreads and braided rugs in nearly every room.
In addition, Betty was a dedicated gardener and the landscaping of a picturesque, backyard Japanese Garden was the fulfillment of a long sought dream. Clad in coveralls and work gloves and armed with a shovel, she stoutly pushed wheelbarrow loads of rock and cement to create a winding walkway that was bordered by vivid, multicolored azaleas. The path crossed over a traditional, arched red bridge that spanned a goldfish pond and then circled back to the house. It was an enchanting retreat in the midst of a wooded backyard.
Betty was an avid member of the Mechanicsville community. For years she famously taught tailoring classes through the Hanover County Extension Service. Many of her lifelong friendships had their beginnings in those dressmaking classes. Other friendships developed through her longstanding membership in the Mechanicsville Presbyterian Church.
Preceding her in death were her husband, Mel, her parents, her brother Bill and her sister Marian. Betty is survived by her four children and her granddaughter, Aurora. A private graveside service at Oakwood Cemetery and a memorial celebration of her life will be scheduled at a future date.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Betty Isabell Compton
May 29, 2020
I remember Betty well as I was a child (along with her children) at Mechanicsville Presbyterian Church. She always had a smile on her face, a kind word and a twinkle in her eye. As my own mother advanced in age and declined in mobility, Betty was so wonderful at lifting Mom’s spirits with a phone call, personal note, or personal visit. We all thought so highly of her and will miss her happy attitude and love of Christ.
May 21, 2020
My sweet Miss Betty who taught me how to embroider at the age of 9 and would always check to see if my stitches were perfect. She hemmed my wedding dress and even wove in some blue thread for good luck. Miss Betty also made christening gowns with pink or blue smocking for my children which I will treasure forever. Will miss you sweet lady! Be at peace. All my love to Linda,Jody , Mike and Mark.
Bob a d Joan Crummette
May 20, 2020
Joan and I were saddened to learn of Mrs. Compton's passing. We were blessed to have known her and her family and grateful to have seen her recently. She was always most positive to me as a parent and friend. We will miss her and know you will carry wonderful memories of her in your hearts. We can only imagine the reunion she is having with your Dad. With sincere sympathy,
Bob and Joan Crummette