Betty Jo Bates, age 90, of Culpeper, Virginia, passed away on September 16, 2020. She was born February 11, 1930, in Huddleston, Virginia, to Garrett and Eva (Laughon) Woodford. Betty Jo graduated from Mary Washington College with a degree in education with a major in art and a minor in Spanish. She taught public school for 30 years, beginning in Norfolk, Virginia, but mostly in Culpeper County. She taught fourth grade for many years and finished as an art teacher at Culpeper County Jr. High School. After retirement, Betty Jo served as the “Picture Lady” at Pearl Sample Elementary School.

Community service was very important to Betty Jo. She was a member of the W.M.U. at Culpeper Baptist church for many years and also served as president. She taught 6th grade Sunday School, was an integral part of beginning the Culpeper Baptist Child Development Center, and served on innumerable committees. She was a long time member and past president of the Culpeper Garden Club. In addition, she was very active in and past president of the Culpeper affiliate of the Virginia Retired Teacher Association, serving on the state level as well. For many years she fulfilled innumerable requests for artwork for various community functions.

While teaching in Norfolk, Betty Jo met the new extension agent for Culpeper County, Marvin Lee Bates. They were married on July 24, 1954 and were married for 49 years. Betty Jo was well known for her sense of humor and she loved being outside, gardening, old movies, art and anything with Tom Selleck. Above all, she was a devoted servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and passed on her love of Christ as an enduring legacy.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, William G. Woodford, Jr. and Marcus Woodford and her devoted husband, Marvin Lee Bates. She is survived by her sister Sibyl Woodford Newton (Louis), her sister in law, Loretta Woodford LaPrade (J.B.); her sons, Lawrence Lee Bates (Denise), Bruce Randolph Bates (Lisa); her daughter, Janet Bates Kay (Bryan); 9 grandchildren; and 3 great grandchildren with one more on the way.

Visitation with the family will be Saturday, September 26, 2020, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at Culpeper Baptist Church, 318 S. West St., Culpeper, Virginia, followed by the Memorial Service at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be made to Culpeper Baptist Church.

Fond memories and condolences may be shared with the Bates family through The Bates family has entrusted Clore-English Funeral Home with these arrangements.