On February 14, 2021, Mrs. Betty Perkins Bowman, passed away at her home in Keysville, Virginia. A bookkeeper, realtor, businesswoman, entrepreneur, landowner and devout Christian, Betty is survived by her son Greg, her daughter-in-law Joanne, and her granddaughter, Delaney Bowman. She is also survived by her brother Larry Perkins, her sister-in-law Joanne, her nephews Sam and Richard Perkins, Mr. Barry Newcomb, and her niece, Mrs. Toni Murray. Additionally, she is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Mr. Carroll and Mrs. Wilma Bowman and their wonderful children. Her beloved sister, Delores Newcomb, predeceased Betty.
Born in 1940 in Danville, Virginia, to Lewis Samuel Perkins and Pearly Higdon Perkins, Betty was a resident of Charlotte County, Virginia, since the late 1940’s, where she and her family lived on a tobacco farm in Eureka. There, she learned the love of the outdoors, the value of hard work and the love of Jesus Christ. Moreover, she learned the values of loyalty, respect, honor, and courage, and was a very proud, patriotic American.
Soon after graduating from Randolph Henry High School in 1958, Betty married James Gregory Bowman, from Hillsville, Virginia, after he returned from his overseas service with the US Army’s 1st Cavalry Division. She and Jim,” as he was affectionately known, were married until his passing on June 8, 2001.
Although she never attended college, Betty was renowned as one of the smartest, most capable, and scrupulously honest business leaders in the County for over 50 years. From establishing the first-ever, woman-owned real estate brokerage in the County, to having multiple small businesses including a country store and a satellite electronics firm, Betty always loved a challenge, and believed that she and Jim could achieve anything with enough hard work and determination.
Most of all, Betty was a champion of doing what’s right; and she believed that one person can always make a difference. She successfully fought injustice all the way to the Virginia Supreme Court, where she sued to defend the rights of herself and other employees from being treated unfairly. Her efforts along with those of her dear friend, Joyce Bridges, ultimately lead to the legal doctrine known as the “Bowman Rule”. Her strength of character and persistence led to new “at-will employee” protections, not only in Virginia, but also in cases around the nation.
Yet, she was always humble, prayerful, and loving to her family, friends, and even those whom she did not know. She believed strongly in God and His teachings of “love thy neighbor.” Towards the end of her life, she suffered from dementia, which took a great toll on her. Yet, she always knew her granddaughter, Delaney Bowman, and her great nephew, Rhett Perkins. Both of whom were incredibly bright lights in her life.
On behalf of her entire family, we wish to thank so many for the love, kindness and concern shown Betty and our family. Although there are so many who loved her that we can’t possibly name them all, we want to particularly thank Ann White, Sherry Hailey, Vicki Ferguson, and Jayson Dix. These wonderful friends cared and looked after her during her declining years in so many ways. We also wish to thank Joanne, Larry, Sam, Richard, and their entire family, who went above and beyond to help her so many times. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. William E. Kracke and their daughter, Joanne Kracke Bowman, who became such a wonderful part of Betty’s life and an essential part of our family. Finally, to her Church Family at Eureka Baptist Church, thank you so much for the decades of loving her. She was blessed with a wonderful life both on this Earth and surely in the next.
A celebration of life will be held for Betty at 2:00 PM on October 16, 2021 at Eureka Baptist Church, followed by an interment in the church cemetery. All are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, please donate to her beloved Eureka Baptist Church.