Candler - Lila DeVault Betts, of Asheville, died at Givens Estates on March 29, 2012, one month before her 99th birthday.
She was born Lila Gordon King on April 29, 1913, in Forest City, NC, to Grover Cleveland and Mary McBrayer King, the oldest of their four children. She was valedictorian of her Cool Springs High School Class of 1929. She attended Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina, for two years, serving as President of her sophomore class, but had to leave college due to the Depression.
She and her family moved to Asheville in the early thirties, where she became executive secretary to L. B. Jackson, working on the top floor of the Jackson Building in downtown Asheville. At the age of 26, she married Cleveland Franklin Pinnix Jr. of Greensboro, North Carolina. When World War II began, Cleve enlisted and was commissioned a first lieutenant in the U. S. Army. The young couple traveled throughout the country, and when Cleve was sent to France, Lila returned to Asheville for the birth of their son Cleve III in March of 1944. "Big Cleve" was killed in France July 12, 1944, never having seen his son.
Lila returned to her job with Mr. Jackson, during which time she produced a weekly publication of news of local servicemen.
She and her son continued to live at her parents' home on Kimberly Avenue until she married Robert V. DeVault , a chemist at American Enka, in 1950. Their daughter Mary was born in 1952.
Lila became a widow once again when Bob died suddenly in 1969. She continued to live in North Asheville, remaining busy with church and social activities. In 1982, after a one-week courtship, she became engaged to Dr. Reeve H. Betts of Asheville, a retired surgeon and medical missionary. They were married two months later, and soon after moved to Givens Estates. In 2000, she became a widow for the third time when Dr. Betts died from Parkinson's Disease.
Lila remained at Givens Estates until her death, gradually declining through a ten-year battle with dementia.
She was an active and long-standing member of Central United Methodist Church, a member of PEO, and the founder of the Opsimathy Book Club at Givens Estates.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Cleve and Martha Pinnix of Olympia, Washington; her daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Tom Donnelly of Asheville; and a granddaughter, Julia McBrayer Pinnix of King Salmon, Alaska.
A celebration of her life is being planned for 2:00 p.m. Sunday, April 29, 2012 (which would have been her 99th birthday), at the Chapel at Givens Estates.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to be made to MemoryCare, 100 Far Horizons Lane, Asheville, NC, 28803.
Read Lila Betts's Obituary and Guestbook on www.grocefuneralhome.com.