Betty Jo Leonard

Betty Jo (Norton) Leonard, 86, of Roanoke, VA passed to her heavenly home, December 6, 2020, after a long and gallant battle with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. 

Betty Jo was born in Decatur, TN to the late Jake and Mary Norton. She was married for 50 years to the late Jimmy Leonard.

She graduated from East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, TN with a Bachelors degree in Education. She taught in the Johnson City, TN school system until 1969 and then the Roanoke City, VA school system until her retirement in 1996.

Betty Jo loved the outdoors and was out among her beautiful flowers and plants every chance she had, always admiring the birds that she loved to watch so much. She was a great cook and loved to be in the kitchen cooking for her family and friends.  Betty Jo loved the Lord and attended Bonsack Baptist Church. She dedicated her life to her family which was her greatest joy, especially her grandchildren, Cameron and Catherine who were her greatest gifts, and then her great grandchildren, Bridget and Ellie.  She loved her many friends from ETSU and dearest ‘Roomie’, Frankie Hiatt, the staff at Stonewall Jackson Middle School, Fallon Park Elementary, her Orchard Villas family, especially Chris Arnold and Connie Clingenpeel, her Facebook friends and all who knew her as ‘Momma Jo’.  Thank you for the special blessings you brought to her life.   

Left to cherish her memory are her son and daughter-in-law, Robin  and Ann Leonard of Bedford, VA; daughter and son-in-law, Cynthia and Mike Gray of  Denver, NC; grandchildren, Cameron Leonard and wife Maggie of  Penhook, VA; Catherine Leonard of  Roanoke, VA; sister, Polly  Crumley and husband John of Carmel. IN; sister-in-law Barbara Clark of Johnson City, TN; also several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Blessings of thanks to Vicky Smith, her dedicated caregiver in Roanoke, VA. Thank you Vickie Jones, her caregiver in Denver, NC who lovingly cared for her this past year until her final day. Also, Sacha Ellis, who warmly assisted with her care her last month.  The loving and caring guidance of Tania Miller, Tye Bennett, Stacy Clark and the nursing staff of Hospice & Palliative Care of Lincoln County, NC were invaluable in managing her care and comfort.

Also, dear friend, Carol Hickok, who as a Respiratory Therapist, was an angel in overseeing her every need in managing her IPF and giving unending daily support to the family over the past year.

As the song says…”So I’ll sing Hallelujah, you were an angel in the shape of my Mom…and when God took you back He said Hallelujah you’re home”

The family will hold a private memorial at a later date.

Memories and condolences may be sent to the family via Good Samaritan Funeral Home website.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Hospice & Palliative Care of Lincoln County, 900 Dontia Dr, Lincolnton, NC  28092 or Habitat for Humanity of the Roanoke Valley, 3435 Melrose Ave NW, Roanoke, VA 24017.  

8 Responses to Betty Jo Leonard

  1. Michelle Epperly-Hodges December 10, 2020 at 9:59 am #

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Mrs Leonard’s family. She was a wonderful teacher as well as a wonderful woman.

  2. Debra Harrison Stump December 10, 2020 at 10:12 am #

    Praying for the family with the loss of their mother and grandmother. Mrs. Leonard was my gym teacher in the 70’s at Stonewall Jackson Junior she was a great teacher and I loved her accent can still hear her to this day,

  3. Teresa Hartman December 10, 2020 at 1:49 pm #

    Such an amazing woman. Was fortunate & blessed to know Mrs. Leonard! She was a great teacher & mentor.
    Heaven truly gained another angel.
    Prayers of peace and comfort to her family during this time.

  4. Forest & Debbie Webster December 10, 2020 at 4:35 pm #

    My heart is so saddened to hear this. Mrs. Leonard was our neighbor for several years. She was so sweet! She loved her flowers and people. Forest’s Mother lived with us for several years and they became very good friends. She was so kind and friendly to all she met. She talked about her family with so much love and pride! She was a one of a kind friend! This world’s loss is truly heavens gain. Cindy, Robin, Cameron and Catherine, always know you were well loved! Our prayers and sympathy are with each of you.

  5. robert Allen December 10, 2020 at 8:06 pm #

    We knew Betty Jo briefly at the Seekers Sunday school class Bonsack Baptist Church and appreciated her comments to different lessons. She also had a sense of humor…You are in our thoughts and prayers at this time of sadness but we rejoice she is with the Lord celebrating Christmas with Him. Blessings in Christ, Margaret Anne & Bob Allen

  6. Ashley, Dana & Vicky December 11, 2020 at 11:58 am #

    Our thoughts, prayers and love go out to Mrs. Leonard’s family. What a beautiful tribute to your mom Cindy! We love you bunches!

  7. Paul & Nary Ann Gray December 11, 2020 at 12:33 pm #

    Our thoughts and prater to all the family of Betty Jo. She was loved and respected by all that knew her,

  8. Karen Clark December 17, 2020 at 11:50 am #

    I am so sorry to hear of this great lady’s passing. My thoughts and prayers to the family. May God bless and comfort you.

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