Betty Huffman Pennell
July 27, 1934 - May 14, 2021
Betty Huffman Pennell, 86, of Valdese entered into eternal life Friday, May 14, 2021. Known by several nicknames throughout her life, Betty was "Betty Boots", a childhood nickname given to her by her siblings. Her daughters and their friends knew her as "Betty Business" because of her career as a business teacher and "Betty Baker" because of her excellent cooking skills. She was known for her famous "congo squares" which were quickly eaten by family and friends.
Betty was born July 27, 1934, to the late Edward and Margaret Huffman. She grew up in a loving family surrounded by her brothers, Bo and Jim; and her sister, Luke. Betty graduated from Marion High School and Appalachian State University, with a degree in business education. During her first year of teaching at Hudson High School, Betty met the love of her life, Ned Pennell. They were married in December, 1958. Two daughters, Rexanna and Susan, soon joined the family.
In 1964, Ned was offered the head football coaching job at Valdese High School and the family set up residence in Valdese. They quickly became members of Valdese First Baptist Church. Betty was a woman of strong faith. Her kindness, caring and compassion for others was well known. Betty was the Sunday school teacher for the senior women's Sunday school class for many years. As part of her love for others, she planned a yearly birthday celebration for each individual class member, complete with lunch and a birthday cake. In addition, she was instrumental in getting the Child Development Center at Valdese First Baptist opened and certified.
Betty taught business classes at Valdese High School and East Burke High School for 30 years. Burke County's first Teacher of the Year, "Mrs. Pennell" was loved by her many students.
The "special" loves of her life were her four grandsons, A.J., J.R., Sam and Zach. She spent countless hours watching football, basketball, and baseball games, attending academic awards ceremonies and high school and college graduations cheering for her boys. Her grandsons knew her as "Nanny" and they shared an unbreakable bond of love with her.
Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Ned Pennell; her brother, Bo Huffman; and her sister, Lucille Huffman.
She is survived by her daughter, Rexanna Lowman and husband, Allen, of Valdese; daughter, Susan Royall and husband, Joe, of Valdese; grandsons, A.J. Lowman and wife, Melody, of Greensboro; J.R. Royall and wife, Megan; great-granddaughter, Sophia of Maiden; grandsons, Sam Royall of Hickory and Zach Lowman of Valdese; her brother, Jim Huffman and wife, Peggy of Eden; and many nieces and nephews.
A graveside service will be held Monday, May 17, at 12 p.m., at Burke Memorial Park. A memorial service celebrating Betty's life will follow at Valdese First Baptist Church, Monday, at 3 p.m. A receiving of friends will be held outside in the church courtyard after the service.
Memorials may be made to Valdese First Baptist Church, 500 Faet St., Valdese, NC 28690.
The family will always be grateful to the loving and caring staff at College Pines Health and Rehabilitation Center for their outstanding care of Miss Betty.www.heritagefuneralservices.com
Published by The News Herald on May 16, 2021.