Cover photo for Betty  Johnson Howie 's Obituary
Betty  Johnson Howie  Profile Photo
1934 Betty 2022

Betty Johnson Howie

December 22, 1934 — October 2, 2022

Betty Rue Johnson Howie

December 22, 1934 – October 2, 2022

   Durham, NC – Betty Rue Johnson Howie, age 87, died at Duke University Hospital on Sunday, October 2, 2022. She was a dedicated Christian lady, and she got to go to church in Heaven that Sunday morning. She was born on December 22, 1934 in Greensboro, NC to the late Reubin Edgar and Lillie Belle Jones Johnson.

   Betty was a graduate of Tarboro High School, but was most proud of graduating from Duke University in 1956 with an English degree. She worked as a claims representative for the Social Security Administration, first in Charlotte, and then in Durham. She and Bill were married on May 23, 1959 in Monroe, NC. Once their children were born, she became a stay-at-home mom and a determined volunteer who was always involved in her children’s activities. After working part-time for educational organizations, she became a full-time editor/proofreader for Southeastern Regional Educational Improvement Laboratory from 1982 until her retirement in 1991.

She was a member of Garden Club, Woman’s Club, and the PTA. A longtime member of Yates Baptist Church, she served as a Sunday School teacher, deacon, church clerk, and on many committees, such as the Nominating Committee, and contributed to the most recent revision of the church bylaws.

   Betty was a lifelong learner and reading was one of her favorite hobbies. She “never met a stranger” and could strike up a conversation with anyone. She enjoyed spending time talking with her family members and friends, preferably in person. Board games, played with her family or friends, and working jigsaw puzzles were other favorite pastimes. She remained the neighbor kid’s favorite term paper editor.

   Betty, along with her family, always looked forward to their annual week at Sunset Beach, NC. This tradition of over 50 years included four generations in recent years, and has always been a time for laughter, game nights, and delicious meals and snacks, which she planned and prepared to make sure each family member had their favorite treats (in abundance). She also enjoyed time spent travelling within the US, as well as internationally, with Bill.

   Betty is survived by her devoted husband of 63 years, William A. Howie, and their children, Becky Howie Phelps and her husband, Chris, of Julian, NC, Alex Howie of Durham, NC, and Ed Howie and his wife, Kathryn, of San Antonio, TX. She was the proud grandmother of Caroline Phelps Hankins (Tyson), Rosemary Phelps Wheeler (John), Sarah Howie and Parker Howie. She also adored her four great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Dr. William D. Johnson.

    A visitation will be held from 3:30pm to 4:30pm on Sunday, November 13, 2022, in the sanctuary of Yates Baptist Church.

   A memorial service to celebrate Betty’s life will be held on Monday, November 14, 2022 at 10am at Yates Baptist Church, followed by a private family graveside service at 3:30pm at Lakeland Memorial Park in Monroe, NC.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Yates Baptist Church – Growing God’s House Fund at 2819 Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC 27707.

   The family would like to thank the team of nurses and doctors at Duke University Hospital on 9 Central Tower and especially the compassionate and thoughtful Duke Palliative Care Team. Their personal care for Betty and the family will not be forgotten.

   The family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Johnson Howie , please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, November 13, 2022

3:30 - 4:30 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Monday, November 14, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 0

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree