Betty Hope Boyette Tyson

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Betty Hope Boyette Tyson, 80, passed away peacefully at Vidant Medical Center on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, in Greenville.

She was a long-time resident of Newport News, Virginia, where she was a career educator in the Newport News Public Schools System (NNPSS). Betty proudly taught third grade for more than 30 years. She was educated at Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) in Wilson, where her family had lived for generations.

Betty was an avid gardener and was known for her “show stopping” hibiscus. She inherited her green thumb from her mother. Betty was president and treasurer of Alice Applewhite Garden Club and was co-chair of hospitality for Peninsula Council of Garden Clubs. Her love for gardening was exemplified when she proudly showed her home and gardens on the Garden Club of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week tour in 2000.

Betty was an active member of numerous clubs and organizations. She was treasurer of the Hilton Woman’s Club until recently moving to North Carolina. Betty founded the Jenkins Retirees (JR’s) of which she loved spending time with her fellow retired teachers and administrators. She helped organize related functions and often hosted special gatherings where her signature pimento cheese and whiskey sours were served.

Betty, aka “BeeBee,” was a devoted grandmother. She made wonderful memories with her grandchildren from time spent at the beach, Disney vacations, Busch Gardens adventures, special dining experiences, N.C. State Fair excursions, and fishing on the shore. Bee Bee made every occasion special. She delighted in teaching her grandchildren proper etiquette for social events and entertaining.

In addition, Betty instilled a love for family. As wife, mom, aunt and sister, Betty was “boss” and “Queen Bee!” She ensured that the Boyette Christmas (reunion) continued annually after her mother’s passing. At each reunion Betty directed the family pictures and utilized her infamous camera. Memories were made and preserved through her persistence and direction. For that we are all grateful. To say that Betty will be missed is an understatement. She leaves an imprint on our hearts that only she could fill.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas Roy Boyette and Genieva Buck Boyette; two infant daughters; and her beloved in-laws, George Ella Tyson and Mattie Bottoms Tyson.

Betty is survived by her devoted husband of 59 years, George Ella “Dick” Tyson Jr., who was also a career educator and administrator in the NNPSS; her son, George Christopher Tyson (Susan) of Wake Forest; grandchildren, Hope Elizabeth Tyson and Christopher George Tyson; four siblings and their spouses (affectionately known as “the outlaws”), Lois Ann Gardner (Joe), Billie Jean Keen (Joe), Thomas Ward Boyette (Mamie) and Robert Roy Boyette (Fran); nieces, Geannine Marie Boyette, Melissa Keen Degaraff (James), Anne Thomas Keen and Leslie Keen Robertson (Stuart); nephews, Joseph Irvin Gardener, Thomas Troy Gardner (Teresa), Thomas Ward Boyette Jr. (Mary), Jamieson Britt Boyette; and her loving sister-in-law, Ruth Ann Edwards (William “Shorty”) and their son, William Tyson Edwards.

The family would like to offer a special thanks to Vidant Medical Center for their exceptional care.

Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at Weymouth Funeral Home with interment to follow in Peninsula Memorial Park. Arrangements are by Weymouth Funeral Home.