Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Lawrence Durkovich of Mathews, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, after a long illness.
She was born in Portsmouth on Aug. 17, 1933, and was a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth. She was predeceased by her husband, the Rev. John Durkovich, whom she married in 1955. Together, they served in the Ministry of the Virginia United Methodist Church for 50 years, serving in churches all over the state of Virginia.
Also preceding her in death are her parents, Jesse and Mabel Lawrence from Portsmouth, and her son, John Andrew “Andy” Durkovich of Bangor, Maine.
She is survived by her two daughters and their husbands, granddaughters and families: Mary Anna Durkovich Canter and her husband Glenn Canter and their two daughters, Taylor Nicole and Emily Paige, and Rebecca Lynn “Becky” Zeller and her husband John Zeller and their two daughters, Jessie Alana and Megan Lynn, and their granddaughter, Fynlee, and son Andy’s wife, JoAnne Durkovich and their daughter, Dr. Tracey Durkovich Clark. She also leaves behind a niece, Becky Durkovich Tomlinson and her husband Gene, and her great-niece, Robin Hassler and her husband Todd.
Betty was trained in classical opera and sang with many groups in the Tidewater area, including the Virginia Opera, before marrying the Rev. Durkovich. While her children were young, she taught preschool for a short time, but she always felt that her main job was to be a homemaker and she took great pride in her position as a “Preacher’s Wife.” She was a member of Salem United Methodist Church in Diggs. While there, she was a member of the Salem UMC Women’s Club (Lily Hopkins Circle) and member of the choir. She was a past president of the Locust Grove United Methodist Women’s Club at Locust Grove United Methodist Church in Dutton while she and the Rev. Durkovich were serving there. She was the choir director and member of the Mathews Woman’s Club, past chairman of the Mathews County Library Board and member of the Friends of the Library. She was also extremely honored to have served as the Worthy Matron of Oriental Chapter No. 30 OES in Mathews. In addition, she was also a member of the Chesapeake Bay Circle of The King’s Daughters & Sons, and a member of the Peninsula Emmaus.
A celebration of Betty’s life will be held at Salem United Methodist Church in Diggs on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, at 2 p.m. Please wear beautiful colors as we are celebrating her life.
In lieu of flowers, you may send donations honoring her to Salem United Methodist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 474, Mathews, Va. 23109.
The family would like to thank the many people who work at the Riverside Convalescent Center-Mathews for the loving care that they gave to our mom/nana, and to the wonderful people in Mathews who welcomed her and our father as members of your town, we thank you. They both loved living there and making it their home for many years.
Faulkner Funeral Homes, Foster-Faulkner Chapel, Mathews, is assisting the family with the arrangements.