NASHVILLE, NC – Betty Lou Brown (Lou) Vann, age 96, passed away peacefully Monday, August 20, 2018, at the home she shared with her daughter and son – in – law Mary Vann and Bob Sitton. All her children were at her side as she gently left this earthly life.
Lou was the last child born on April 22, 1922 to Mary Elizabeth Alston Brown and Henry Newton Brown on the family farm between Powellsville and Trap in Bertie County.
She married the love of her life Bennie Thomas Vann in January 1939 until his passing in December 1998. She is survived by their three children, Bennie Thomas Vann, Jr. (Eunice, deceased) of Nashville, NC, R. Timothy Vann (Ellen) of Gainesville, GA. and Mary Vann Sitton (Bob) of Nashville, NC. She is also survived by three grandchildren Bennie Thomas Vann, III (Jennine) of Alpharetta, GA, Jennifer Vann Ready (John) of Marietta, GA, and Lauren Vann Baylor (Drew) of Media, PA. and seven great children: Noah Vann and Hunter Campbell, Jack and Jacob Ready, and Katie, Emma and Sarah Baylor.
Lou and Thomas lived the Army life for 30 years. Posts included Ft. Monroe and Ft. Eustis, Virginia before WWII broke out and Thomas was away for two years in Europe. Lou moved back to the family farm with Tommy, Jr. where she helped her father manage the farm. Lou would drive the truck to the POW Camp in Ahoskie to pick up German prisoners there to work on the farm. After the War, she and Thomas were stationed at Fort Meade, MD where Tim was born. In 1949 they were off to Germany where Thomas assisted in post – war reconstruction. Duty again called Thomas to Korea in 1952. Lou gave birth to Mary and kept the family together for 18 months. Additional posts in Mexico, Texas, Germany and back to Ft. Meade rounded out a life of service. Lou was always a ready partner to “get up and go” and well knew the life she led as a “soldiers’ wife” assisting her husband in his work with the U.S. military to keep America safe and free.
Lou and Thomas semi – retired to Murfreesboro, NC in the fall of 1969. In Murfreesboro she enjoyed her work and friends with the Ahoskie Hospital Auxiliary, Murfreesboro Historical Association, and the Murfreesboro Garden Club. She very much enjoyed visiting with brothers and sisters, family times at the Chowan River (Mount Gould) and trips around the country with Thomas which rounded out their life together. Lou was a long-time member of Murfreesboro Baptist Church.
Lou’s late brothers and sisters included: Josiah “Joe” Brown (Betty Lou) of Philadelphia, PA, Goldie Newsome (Lloyd) of Ahoskie, John Henry Brown (Grace) of Merry Hill, Robert Edward Brown (Helen) of Center Grove, Carrie Pratt Freeman (Carl) of Colerain, William Brown of Powellsville, Charlie Brown (Helen) of Ahoskie and Gladys Brown (Billy) of Norfolk, VA. Lou had numerous nieces and nephews including three special nieces: Helen Pratt Thompson, Carrie Jo Pratt Perry (deceased) and Betty Pratt Todd, who she cherished.
A private, graveside Celebration of Life service will be held Sunday, August 26, 2018. at Riverside Cemetery with Lou’s nephew, the Rev. Charles Thompson officiating.
The family thanks the dedicated and caring staff at Community Hospice of Rocky Mount for their help during the past few months.
Funeral services are provided by Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service of Murfreesboro. Online condolences may be sent by visiting www.garrettsykesfs.com Flowers will be accepted at the funeral home.