Betty Wilson, Pittsboro ‘royalty,’ reflects on her life of service

BY CINDY PERRY, Guest columnist
Posted 3/17/21

Some people call her Queen Elizabeth. But she’s Betty Wilson, and she is the closest thing to royalty in Pittsboro.

Betty reigns over a spectacular family of six with grandchildren galore. As we …

The News + Record is worth reading!

We’re all about Chatham County, and we welcome you to our site. You can view up to 3 stories each month, then registration is required.

Please sign in below if you have an account. If not, please register here to get an account and an additional 7 stories each month. It’s easy and takes just a minute.

Our staff works hard to bring good journalism, writing and story-telling to Chatham County. HELP US! You can get the News + Record mailed to you weekly by subscribing here.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Betty Wilson, Pittsboro ‘royalty,’ reflects on her life of service

Thanks for reading Chatham County’s leading news source! Making high quality community journalism isn’t free — please consider supporting our journalism by subscribing to the News + Record today.

Unlimited Digital Access: $3.99 for 1 month, $39 for 1 year.

Posted

Some people call her Queen Elizabeth. But she’s Betty Wilson, and she is the closest thing to royalty in Pittsboro.

Betty reigns over a spectacular family of six with grandchildren galore. As we sat in her Powell Place living room, we both enjoyed conversation and cuddling with Blossom, her rescue dog, and Sweet Pea, her rescue tabby cat.

Betty Faucette was born in Durham; in the summer before her senior year of high school, she met a charming young man named Noah Wilson. She started college at Meredith while Noah joined the military during the Korean War. Betty left college in her junior year to marry Noah and they started married life at Ft. Hood in Texas, and where the first of their six children, Marshall, was born.

After Noah’s military service, they returned to Durham, where Noah sold life insurance. They rented an apartment for $27 per month for their growing family. Noah used the GI bill to go to dental school, after which Betty finished college with Rouse and Braxton added to their family.

During those years, she gave her family her total attention. Bett, Charlotte and Jane Allen were added to the family, making six children. As the children grew up, she taught kindergarten in the Pittsboro Primary School. Then, with a master’s degree in Guidance Counseling, Betty moved to the counselor role for seven more years before retiring.

In her 10 years of teaching and seven years as a guidance counselor with the Chatham County Schools, Betty dedicated herself to giving every child in the system the kind of education, protection and the gentle guidance that each child deserved.

Life in Pittsboro offered the opportunity for work with the Garden Club, installing the brick sidewalks we walk today and for close friendships with Rossie Lindsey, Mary Hayes Holmes and Margaret Pollard. And, it was not long before Mary Hayes Holmes suggested that Betty run for county commissioner.

“It’s your time. You’re going to do this,” Mary Hayes told Betty in her famously commanding way.

And Betty did.

Betty made an indelible mark on Chatham County with her service as county commissioner. Betty, Margaret Pollard and Uva Holland served together as a trio of strong and capable women commissioners. Together they shepherded in Briar Chapel, the first compact community, Jordan Lake water supply provisions, and a breadth of other issues. “When you raise your hand to vote as commissioner, you also make enemies,” Betty remembered.

Betty always did her homework, strove to do the right thing, and most importantly, listened to make sure that all constituents were heard.

Now at 89, Betty cannot think of a better life than what she has lived in Pittsboro. She has reached most of her goals, has no regrets, and she glows when she talks about her children, their spouses and her grandchildren. Her relationship with her children reinforces what many parents say: each child is different, each is a different gem, and each has followed in the footsteps of their mother, giving back to their communities.

Cindy Perry has lived in Pittsboro for more than 45 years, practiced real estate law for 25 years, and served as mayor of Pittsboro for two terms.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

Subscribe to The Chatham Brew now to get the latest news from Chatham County straight to your inbox.

* indicates required
/ ( mm / dd )