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First Baptist Of Sylva
Friday April 5th, 2019
5:00pm - 7:00pm

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Betty Coward Stillwell

Betty Rand Coward Stillwell of Six Mile SC passed away peacefully on March 30, 2019 surrounded by her family. She was born in Raleigh, North Carolina on January 8, 1934, to William Roscoe and Elizabeth Purnell Rand. She was preceded in death by her sister, Billie Frances, her parents, and her first husband, James Kent Coward, Sr.

Betty grew up in Garner, North Carolina and was a member of Garner United Methodist Church and enjoyed shepherding her three younger sisters. At the age of 16, she won a trip to Hollywood in a national contest in dressmaking sponsored by McCall’s Pattern Company.

She attended Meredith College and in later years served as a member of the Board of Trustees. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a major in English and received a master’s degree in library science from Western Carolina University. As librarian at Scott’s Creek Elementary School, she fostered the love of reading to every child who walked through the library door. 

A devoted member of First Baptist Church in Sylva, North Carolina, Betty served as a deacon, sang alto in the choir, and led projects and fund-raisers to benefit the growth of the church. She served on the Board of Directors at the Baptist Children’s Home of North Carolina. She participated on mission trips to Arkansas, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Thailand, and Ukraine and in community missions work in Sylva and in Clemson SC.  Hers was a vibrant faith in every way, full of grace and beauty.

She loved any gathering of friends or family especially at Grassy Creek and Ocean Isle Beach. Her creativity showed up in special treats for children, flowers from field and garden, and always something beautiful from every season, even if only on the kitchen windowsill.

Betty is survived by her husband E.P. Stillwell Jr. of Six Mile, sons J.K. Coward Jr. (Renée) of Sylva NC, The Honorable William H. Coward (Kim) of Highlands NC, daughter Elizabeth Coward Rand of Asheville NC, and step-daughters Elizabeth Cohen (David) of New York, and Brooke Stillwell of Six Mile SC, sisters Margaret Rand Hilpert (John) of Louisburg NC, and Mary Marshall Culp (Robert) of Hillsborough NC,  nine beloved grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation is Friday April 5, 2019 from 5-7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Mission and Fellowship Center, 669 West Main Street, Sylva North Carolina. The Memorial Service is Saturday April 6, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the church with Interment at Grassy Creek, Tuckaseigee NC.

Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church Sylva - Choir Fund, 669 West Main Street, Sylva NC  28779, Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, PO Box 338, Thomasville NC 27360, Doctors Without Borders USA, PO Box 5030, Hagerstown MD, 21741-5030, or a charity of choice.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Stillwell, please visit our flower store.


We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to all the family of Betty. We had the opportunity to get to know her through my great aunt, Hattie Hilda Allison. Betty was so very good to Hattie. We will always appreciate all that she and E. P. did for her. I really enjoyed getting to know Betty, and found her to be delightful. She was a beautiful lady, inside and out! (I would also like to thank Beth for calling me about her passing.) May all of you be comforted by sweet memories! And may God's comfort surround you.

Beth and Drew Accardi Apr 10 2019 12:00 AM

We are indeed sorry to hear about Betty. She was definitely a wonderful person who loved life, her family, and Church. She will definitely be missed by all who knew her. E. P. you are in our thoughts and prayers. as well as other family members.

Melba and Harold Elders Apr 5 2019 12:00 AM

What a wonderful woman, and what a loss. I worked with Betty for many years and was an Alpha Delta Kappa sister with her. I always considered her the standard for grace and refinement in our community. She was intelligent, caring, and beautiful, inside and out. Much love to her and her family at this sorrowful time.

Sue Bartlett Apr 5 2019 12:00 AM

Dear Family, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your Dear loved one. Our loving Creator never planned for death to be part of his original plan. There is such a loving scripture found at Revelation 21:3 & 4 which reads: With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, And they will be his people, And God himself will be with them, And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The Former things have passed away I hope these words help you find comfort and also give you hope for our near future. Can you imagine Living Forever on Earth under Beautiful conditions that will never end. If you would like further information on Gods promises from the Bible, Please visit our Free Bible based website JW.ORG

Terry Greene Apr 5 2019 12:00 AM

Jay and family, I am so sorry for your loss of this sweet lady. I have fond memories of seeing her at Scotts Creek School, and at many county school functions. She and I were drawn together to chat about family and friends. I know you will miss her but there will be things in your children and grandchildren that remind you of her. our Mom's never leave us. Love you and your family very much. Dona

Dona West Apr 4 2019 12:00 AM

My memories of Mrs. Coward go back to Scotts Creek School. Mrs. Coward ran a tight ship, meaning we were always expected to use our inside voices and be on our best behavior while we were in the library searching for the perfect book to check out for the weekend. She taught us to not only respect the other students in the library but to respect and care for the books we were allowed to enjoy both in the library and at home. In my recent years, I have gotten to know "Miss Betty" as my client and more importantly as my friend. It has been so enjoyable getting to know the teacher I admired for so long on a personal level. She would stop in my office to visit with me from time to time and I always looked forward to our visits. Betty was so proud of her children and grandchildren and would smile at the mention of any of their names. Miss Betty Coward will be missed by many people. I am among the students and friends that will miss her gentle ways and sweet smile. Love and prayers to the family. Kim Preston

Kim Preston Apr 3 2019 12:00 AM

I have wonderful memories of Mrs.Coward from Scott's Creek elementary. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Stephanie Sneed Lanning Apr 2 2019 12:00 AM

Jay and Bill I am so sorry to hear about your mother. My thoughts are with you.

alice cope elliott Apr 2 2019 12:00 AM

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Friends and Family Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM