God has been so merciful to me…He has watched over me and blessed me in amazing ways. He is taking care of me now.
I didn’t get to the bottom of my bucket list, but that’s o.k. I had other things happen twice as nice. I never went to Rome. I never did go hang gliding. I never wore false eyelashes.
I knew when I was just six or so that I wanted to teach others. I taught Jeff and Billy their ABCs, basic sight words and how to write their names and do simple math equations. I knew the minute I went to Longwood that I wanted to continue my passion for teaching.
I began right at Matthew Whaley and taught at many of the area schools. Ten year olds were my love; I worked with K and first graders, too, but they scared me. In later years I reflected on all the things the boys and girls taught me, that as adults we should never shortchange a child’s abilities. They will surprise you every time with what they know and what they can do! I never should have said it would take a miracle for that 11 year-old to pass his math SOL, as he turned out to be a multi-millionaire and manages his money quite well. If I have touched your life in any way, please find a child and buy him a jacket (a cool one), or buy a few books for a homeless shelter, or generously give of your time to tutor a child.
At Longwood, I was a member of Boerc Eh Thorn and Kappa Delta Pi, honorary societies. I loved serving on the Judicial Board. My senior year I went in absentia to William and Mary so that Jim and I could marry and live in Williamsburg.
Jim and I sought out our favorite spots between Florida and Canada and visited them repeatedly. We took in a few other trips as well, as our cruise to Bermuda. On our trips we collected items for our antique business.
I was active in many teachers groups, including Delta Kappa Gamma for over 25 years. I prided myself on the fact that when there was something new on the horizon, I was willing to try it out. For three years I was one of six teachers at a federally funded school. I pioneered team teaching at one school. I participated in a year round experiment, which I found most rewarding, in that children experienced so many gains. At my latest school, I was one who helped small groups achieve their full potential.
I am survived by my husband of 49 years, Jim. Together, we raised our three children, Elisabeth Scott Baty (Jamison) of Charlottesville, Mary Kathryn Branzelle (Michael) of Glen Allen, and Benjamin Garner Jenkins (Heather) of Apex, N.C. I adored being Grandmama to my precious Michael Christopher Branzelle of Glen Allen. I am also survived by my sister-in-law, Mary Lou Jenkins Apgar (Jack) of Gaithersburg, Md.; my dear friend, Sally F. Fulton of Weyers Cave, and our god-daughter, Amanda Williams Turnage of Rancho Palos Verdes, Cal.
To honor my wishes, a private family service will be held.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to any hospice organization of your choice or to Abingdon Episcopal Church in White Marsh, Gloucester County, Va.