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Brown-Wynne Funeral Home & Crematory

300 Saint Mary's Street, Raleigh, NC

OBITUARY

Elizabeth "Betsy" Styron Perry

May 19, 1948May 13, 2020

Elizabeth “Betsy” Styron Perry, 71, passed away on Wednesday morning May 13, 2020 after contracting COVID-19 two weeks previously. She was surrounded with love and family: her daughter, Leigh Mann, her brother, Charles W. Styron, Jr., and his wife, Nancy Frumer Styron. Her family further includes her grandchildren, Jazzmine and Darris Grandberry, and her great grandchildren, Addyson Grandberry and Zaylee McDade. Betsy was the daughter of the late Charles W. Styron, Sr. and the late Nell Joslin Styron of Raleigh, NC. Betsy was first married to Charles Mann of Raleigh, NC, and she was predeceased by her second husband, Larry Thomas Perry of Raleigh, NC.

Betsy’s determination to live in her own way will always be remembered and cherished. Her kind, caring, protective, and loving spirit toward her family was always present in her heart,and it showed in the bright twinkle of her eyes and her loving smile, which were always on display. She was full of life and loved to laugh, and one could always tell when she was up to something mischievous by the smirk that would light up her face.

Betsy spent her career with the Wake County School system as a teacher’s aide. Here she used her compassion and imaginative spirit to reach the hearts of her students. She had a special way of connecting with them, often motivating them to try different approaches in order to overcome obstacles. In her final years in the educational system, she found even greater satisfaction in working one-on-one with a number of students. She always loved to talk about their accomplishments and the milestones that they met. It was the best time in her career because she felt that she was truly making a difference in her younger students’ lives, even if it was for just a short period of time.

Betsy’s imaginative spirit was always an adventure for all involved. Her childhood pet was her horse, Mickie, and she loved to share stories about his gentle nature with children and about his mischievous disposition. (It is not clear who was the teacher and who was the student in this regard.) Her love of animals was passed along to her daughter, Leigh, and there was always a miniature zoo at their home. Their joint love of animals often contributed to a world of wonder, but they could never agree on snakes; Leigh never became a fan.

Betsy was an avid sports fan—something that she and her daughter shared. NASCAR was her favorite, particularly the old days when you be sure that her tv was tuned in on raceday. She and Leigh would occasionally go to the Wake County Speedway back when it was a dirt track and watch races and demolition derbies. She also loved equestrian shows, horse racing, and dog shows. Additionally, Betsy and Leigh shared a love of college and NFL football. During football season, Betsy would sit on her porch, and if the conditions were right, she could hear the announcer and the “Wolf Howl” at the NC State football games. She and Leigh especially enjoyed NFL games while talking to each other on the phone, and Betsy would always leave her phone on speaker and set it down in order to save her ears from Leigh’s outbursts. Their favorite team was the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Betsy’s devotion as a mother was one of making sure to be present in her daughter’s life. It didn’t matter if it was attending one of Leigh’s baseball games or swimming meets, seeing her off to camp for the summer, playing catch or hide and seek, or spending a day at the park; she was always glad to be involved. Their shared love of the beach was a family trait, and days would be spent by the pool or on the beach playing in the waves and making sandcastles. In the evenings they would relax by collecting seashells and counting sand fiddlers in the twilight. After the joy of rearing her daughter, Betsy was blessed by becoming a grandmother to her daughter’s children, Jazzmine and Darris, and then as a great-grandmother to Jazzmine’s two daughters, Addyson and Zaylee. Betsy genuinely embraced the role of grandmother, spoiling her grandchildren often. She took particular pridei n giving them simple pleasures: ride tickets for the State Fair, favorite fast foods and sweets, and abundant attention on the holidays that they shared together.

A small Memorial Service will be held for Betsy later in the year when Public Health conditions permit.

Arrangements by Brown-Wynne, 300 Saint Mary's Street, Raleigh.

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Elizabeth "Betsy" Styron Perry

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