A very spe­cial lady cel­e­brates 102 years

Rappahannock News - - FRONT PAGE - By Kay Wil­son Spe­cial to the Rap­pa­han­nock News

El­iz­a­beth “Betty” Buntin cel­e­brated her 102nd birth­day on All Saints Day, No­vem­ber 1st. Betty and her daugh­ter Nancy, were joined by friends for a fes­tive lunch at Tula’s Restau­rant in Wash­ing­ton, the town where Betty has lived since 1946.

Af­ter the Rev. Miller Hunter gave a birth­day bless­ing, friends of the Buntins were able to en­joy not only good din­ing, but also lis­ten to rem­i­nis­cences of four no­table Rap­pa­han­nock fam­i­lies — the Buntins (rep­re­sented by Betty and Nancy); the Sneads (rep­re­sented by Lois); the Mof­fetts (rep­re­sented by Carter “Car­tie” Mof­fett Welling); and the Baum­gard­ners (rep­re­sented by Ruth, Doug and Mar­garet).

Oth­ers present were Trin­ity Epis­co­pal Church friends Carol Hunter, Carolyn Em­er­ick, Louise El­lis, and Kay Wil­son.

There was the tale that er­rant teenage boys, driv­ing with­out a li­cense and hav­ing man­aged to ac­quire a beer from the back door of a coun­try store, were spot­ted by Sher­iff W.A. Buntin. The teenagers took flight, and thought that they had eluded the sher­iff by speed­ing and tak­ing numer­ous back roads in the county.

A few hours later, be­liev­ing that they were safe, the boys ar­rived home, only to find Sher­iff Buntin wait­ing for them on their front porches. Some Rap­pa­han­nock men re­call that their worst fear of their mis­cre­ant youth was to be ap­pre­hended by Sher­iff Buntin, and then be hauled be­fore Judge Rayner Snead at the court­house.

Betty met her South­ern Gen­tle­man in 1943, while he was serv­ing in the U.S. Army dur­ing WWII. She was glam­orous, a high school English teacher, and clad in a shim­mer­ing white bathing suit. Wil­liam Buntin hailed from Danville, and ex­uded the no­to­ri­ous South­ern charm. They were mar­ried a few months later.

Betty fol­lowed her new hus­band to his var­i­ous army posts, in­clud­ing one in Florida, where Betty was hired to teach Army of­fi­cers on how to in­struct new re­cruits. Af­ter the war, her hus­band be­came a state trooper, and he was as­signed to Rap­pa­han­nock County, where they ini­tially set up home on Pied­mont Av­enue, later mov­ing to the cur­rent home on Main Street. Daugh­ter Nancy was born, raised, and schooled in Rap­pa­han­nock County, and has lived here for much of her life.

Betty is blessed with a high in­tel­lect and su­perb an­a­lyt­i­cal skills. Be­sides some years as a teacher, she spent thirty-three years as a so­cial worker, and was direc­tor of the county’s so­cial ser­vices. She served Trin­ity Church as Regis­trar, Sun­day School teacher, and all around vol­un­teer. A gifted writer, Betty wrote the scripts for all three houses on the Trin­ity-spon­sored House Tours for many years, and the ar­ti­cles on the tour and houses which used to be pub­lished in the Rap­pa­han­nock News.

Not many years ago, her book, “The His­tory of Brom­field Parish,” was pub­lished. It is a prod­uct of in­cred­i­ble re­search, and takes the reader from early colo­nial days, the for­ma­tion of Culpeper County, through to mod­ern times at Trin­ity Epis­co­pal Church. A must read for any­one in­ter­ested in Rap­pa­han­nock County.


Long­time Town of Wash­ing­ton res­i­dent Betty Buntin cel­e­brated her 102nd birth­day on Nov. 1 sur­rounded by ador­ing fam­ily and friends.

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