Dell Elizabeth Graham
May 28, 1947 - September 17, 2021
Dell Elizabeth Graham was born May 28, 1947 and passed Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
Dell Elizabeth Graham was born in the small town of Todd in Ashe County. She has always affectionately been known as Betsy. Her parents were William Reece Graham Jr. and Laura Louise Oliver Graham.
Betsy is survived by two brothers, Charles Graham and wife, Elaine, and Reece Graham and wife, Judy, both of West Jefferson. Betsy is also survived by her three sons, Christian Graham Covington and wife, Angi, of Todd, Matthew Patterson Covington and wife, Stacey, of Concord and Charles William Reece Graham of Concord. She took great joy in her nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild, Sunshine and husband, Kyle, Christian and wife, Kerstin, Forrest, Summer, Honor, Hunter, Promise, Merritt, Jade and Violette.
Growing up in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Betsy was exposed to beautiful authentic mountain ballads and spiritual music which she loved to sing. Later, she would also learn classical music at nearby Appalachian State University. Betsy was considered a very fine mezzo soprano and many people who heard her golden voice would be brought to tears. She would often sing at religious services, on the performing stage and in her later years treasured opportunities to sing at nursing facilities and other venues where her songs brought hope and comfort for those in need. Miss Betsy was an expert in family genealogy and history and was very proud of the fact that her grandfather Graham was the first medical doctor with a full medical degree in Ashe County, and her grandmother, Della Oliver, was renowned for her supreme alto voice. Her first jobs were working at the old townhouse restaurant and Tweetsie Railroad. At Tweetsie, she sang and danced, she often sang with Fred Kirby who was a country and Western recording and performance artist. Betsy also recorded several albums of much loved Christian music.
Betsy attended Appalachian State University and graduated in 1969 cum laude with a degree in primary education. In 1972, she graduated magna cum laude from Appalachian earning her master's degree in reading. Miss Graham taught third grade at Hildebran. In Concord/ Cabarrus County, she taught fifth grade at Beverly Hills Elementary and later taught kindergarten, first grade and remedial reading at Wolf Meadow Elementary School. Betsy was also involved in the creative and performing arts in Cabarrus County. She and her husband founded the Concord Children's Theater which later became the Cabarrus Youth Theater under auspices of both the Concord Recreation Department as well as the Cabarrus County Recreation Department.
Among Betsy's accomplishments, she was crowned Miss Ashe County in 1965. In 1974, she was selected as the young woman of the year from the business and professional women's association of Concord/Cabarrus County. However Betsy always considered her greatest pleasure to be sharing God's love and grace with all she knew. She was a Godly, loving, impulsively generous songbird who always tried in her own way to do the right thing. She is already greatly missed.
Funeral services for Betsy will be conducted Saturday, Sept. 25, at 2 p.m., on the family farm located at 9260 Three Top Rd. in Todd. Burial will follow in the Graham Family Cemetery in Todd. Friends may visit and sign the register book at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home, Friday, Sept. 24, from 12 to 5 p.m.
Condolences may be shared with the Graham family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com
Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory of Boone is serving the Graham family.
Published by Concord & Kannapolis Independent Tribune on Sep. 24, 2021.