Elizabeth Deane Haw Hobbs, 80, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina died on May 7th, 2014. She was born February 17, 1934, the daughter of the late Joicey Edna Ruffin Haw and Richardson Wallace Haw of Richmond, Virginia.
Known to her friends as “Betty”, she grew up in Richmond and Chester, Virginia, graduated from Thomas Dale School and attended what is now Virginia Commonwealth University and North Carolina Wesleyan College. While working at the Central National Bank in Richmond, she met her future husband, Robert Branson Hobbs, whom she married on Valentine’s Day in 1959 and with whom she had two sons. Mr. Hobbs’ banking career led them to Rocky Mount, North Carolina in 1967, where they lived and raised their family until 1996, when he retired from Centura Banks Inc. They subsequently moved to her husband’s home town, Chapel Hill, North Carolina and settled into retirement there.
Mrs. Hobbs was an active Episcopalian and was a member of the Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill. Before that, she was a longtime member of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rocky Mount, where she was President of the Altar Guild for over 25 years and a member of the Chancel Choir. She also served as a lay reader and chalice bearer.
One of Betty’s great passions was ballet dancing. She studied ballet for many years and danced in the Richmond Civic Ballet Company while living there.
Mrs. Hobbs instilled in her children a love of history and of her native Virginia. She took her family on numerous trips to see historic Virginia houses, furniture and decorative arts. She was proud of the fact that she was an eleventh generation Virginian and a third generation genealogist who could trace her family’s lineage back over a thousand years in England and France. She was certified by the National Board for Certification of Genealogists and had a certificate in Advanced Genealogical Research from the North Carolina State Archives. She used her skills to help many friends trace and document their family histories. She also taught numerous classes over the years to civic groups, at several technical colleges and at Duke University. She was a member of numerous genealogical societies, including the Jamestowne Society, the Order of the First Families of Virginia and thirteen other societies. In Rocky Mount, she was Secretary-Treasurer of the Nash County Bicentennial Commission and had a leadership role in raising funds to restore Historic Stonewall in Rocky Mount as part of the Nash County Historical Association.
Mrs. Hobbs had a lifetime love of flowers and flower arranging. She was a member of the Chapel Hill Garden Club and the Rocky Mount Garden Club. Her family took pride in the numerous awards and blue ribbons that she won over the years at competitions. She also taught many classes on flower arranging and constantly arranged flowers at Good Shepherd and the Chapel of the Cross for many services over the years.
Most of all, Betty loved her family. Her husband predeceased her in 2008. She is survived by son, Robert Branson Hobbs, Jr., his wife Laura Thiele Hobbs and daughter Anna Branson Hobbs of Southern Shores, NC; and son, William Thomas Hobbs II, his wife Elizabeth Gilman Hobbs and children William Thomas Hobbs III, Elizabeth Sheppard Bradford Hobbs, Henry Huntington Hobbs and Samuel Middleton Hobbs of Charlotte NC.
She was predeceased by one sister, Joicey Haw Lindsay of Richmond, VA and three brothers, Richardson Wallace Haw, Jr. of Chester, VA, George Ruffin Haw of Chesapeake, VA and John Osborn Haw of Chester VA.
A funeral Service will be held at 3:00PM on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Chapel of the Cross, 304 East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, NC. The Reverend Stephen Elkins-Williams will officiate. The family will receive friends at the church immediately following the service. Interment will follow at the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery.
The Family suggests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the S. Huntington Hobbs, Jr. Endowment for Faculty Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in care of the Arts and Sciences Foundation, 134 East Franklin Street, CB6115, Chapel Hill, NC 27599.