HENDERSONVILLE-Elizabeth (Betty) Birch Toms, 90, died peacefully at home Saturday evening, November 2, 2013. She is predeceased by her late husband, Marion F. (Fred) Toms, Jr., her two eldest brothers, John Morrison Birch, and Walter Ellis Birch and his wife Betty, of Macon, GA, as well as her younger brother, Dr. Herbert Birch of Rome, GA and her brother George's wife, Alice. Survivors include her elder brother, George Stanley Birch of Chattanooga, TN, Herbert's wife, Shirley, Robert and Jenia Birch of Macon, GA, and Douglas and Toni Birch of Asheville, NC., many nieces and nephews, her son-in-law, Luther Delyn Ballard and her daughter, Leila, of Hendersonville, NC.
Betty was born to George Snider Birch and Ethel Ellis Birch in Vineland, NJ on December 30, 1922, as the fourth of seven children. Her family moved to Macon, GA when she was seven years old to live on a farm inherited by her dad called Birchwood, where she enjoyed growing up.
She graduated from Sidney Lanier High School for Girls, and from Brian College in Dayton, TN, with a BA in English in 1946, and was listed in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities.
After graduation, she taught high school English briefly, worked for a pathologist in Atlanta, GA, as a lab technician, where she also met her future husband, Fred Toms. She lived back at home on the farm for awhile, and then lived and worked at Source of Light Mission in Madison, GA. She married Fred Toms of Hendersonville on January 10, 1961. She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, and friend. She had a curious and creative mind, and a brave, friendly, adventurous spirit.
She kept elderly people in her home, and in her later years sold health products for AIM Distributing.
Some have called her "the most Godly/Christian woman" that they have ever known, and she and Fred have touched the lives of many. A graveside service is planned for Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. at the Toms Family plot in Riverside Cemetery, 153 Birch Street, Asheville, NC with the Rev. David Templeton officiating. All are welcome.
Published in The Times-News on Nov. 15, 2013