Ms. Betty Lou Ramsey, Professor Emerita and Founder of the Interior Design Program at West Virginia University and a resident of Belington, departed this life Saturday, July 19, 2014, at Ruby Memorial Hospital at Morgantown from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
Most of her professional career was spent at WVU, beginning in 1956 as an Instructor and advancing through the ranks to full professor and choosing early retirement in 1985.
She began her career at Buckhannon-Upshur High School after graduating from WVU in 1951. During this period, she also served as a critic teacher at West Virginia Wesleyan College. After earning a graduate degree at the University of Tennessee, she returned to WVU in 1955. While at the University of Tennessee, she was an assistant to Marian Heard, widely known leader of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, and managed the Craft House. This experience lead to the leadership she later gave to the establishment of the present craft program and industry in West Virginia. During a three year appointment as Extension Home Furnishings Specialist, she worked with Extension Administrators to lay foundation for the early development of this industry which has received national recognition and prominence.
In the early 1960s, Dr. Francena Nolan Miller asked her to develop an Interior Design Program and Studio in the College of Human Resources. During this time, she studied at the Universities of Minnesota, Hawaii, Temple's Tyler School of Art and traveled widely to develop specializations in historical and contemporary interiors.
During her 34-year career, she was recognized by numerous honorary societies, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Upsilon Omicron, a charter member of Alpha Omicron chapter of Omicron Nu and several times received Outstanding Teacher Awards.
She held membership in Interior Design Educators Council, American Housing Educators, WVU Emeritus Club and the Irving Stewart Society.
Later in life, she became an avid flower gardener and genealogist tracing her Scottish ancestry to the early beginnings of Monongalia County, circa 1769 at Robinson Run.
She was a member of the James Barbour Chapter of the DAR and Clan Ramsey Association of North America, was a graduate of the Belington High School and had formerly attended the Asbury United Methodist Church in Belington.
On February 23, 1929, in Barbour County, she was born to her parents, of the late Beatrice Wilson and Willie Ray Ramsey.
She was also preceded in death by her sister, Effie Lucille Ramsey; her maternal grandparents, Effie Coonts and Francis Creed Wilson; and her paternal grandparents, Barbara Sturm and Thomas Ramsey.
Friends may call at Talbott Funeral Home, 56 N. Brandenburg Street, in Belington from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 24, 2014, with a graveside service to follow in the Fraternal Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest beside her beloved sister and grandparents. The Rev. Carl Gittings and the Pastor Judy Flynn will officiate. Interment will then follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Willie Ray Ramsey and Beatrice Wilson Ramsey Endowment Scholarship at Alderson Broadus University in Philippi.
Talbott Funeral Home in Belington has been called upon to handle these arrangements.
Condolences can be made at www.talbottfuneralhome.com.