I’m Georgene Brazer a new columnist for the Bryan County News. I’ll be bringing you, on a regular basis, stories about people in South Bryan we should know about, heroes in their own right who make this, our home, special.
People like the late Betty Miner. I looked at the word trailblazer and knew it fit, fit a special a woman who, in spite of all she did was not a feminist (the word didn’t exist when she made the small town of Richmond Hill home).
She was, quite simply, a determined, talented woman who moved through life with surety for herself, for her daughters and for the community she loved.
Betty came to Richmond Hill in 1954.
It was a time when everyone knew everyone. She was “Miss Betty.” She never asked for a favor, always asked “what can I do for you”. So many I spoke to said, “they just don’t make them like that anymore”.
She was known as stylish, beautiful, smart, always “dressed to the nines.”
When Clyde Smith ran for sheriff for the first time, Betty came to help.
Each time he ran she was there. His wife Dorothy said “she was one of the most loyal, giving, generous people I knew”.
Bob Massey, owner of Ford Plaza, was a friend for 50 years from the time he, his wife Paula, Betty and her husband Dinky were struggling to grow successful businesses. “Best people in the world.”
Betty and her husband owned a service station/ store on the corner of Route 17 and 144. It was a time when they had turkey shoots, truck pulls, mud-boggins behind the store, when almost everyone had a charge account, when they owned the famous Grey Ghost shrimp boat, and when they were involved in creating the Fishermans Co-op. Angus McLeod, historian, realtor and friend, talked of those different times and of Betty, “a colorful woman, the business side of the Miner family.”
Bobby Carpenter, the Mayor’s father, then Richmond Hill’s postmaster, remembered that “Betty could manage a situation and get results.” Dennis Williams, her neighbor, knew her from childhood. “I loved her dearly, a lot died with her.
My heart is broken with the loss”.
Betty, you’ll be remembered by community stalwarts, by those who were your friends, those you mentored, those who benefited by your city involvements. You are remembered for your talents by too many to quote. Remembered by those who knew you well, those who knew you fleetingly through stories of your influence on a wonderful time gone by, through your likeness in your girls, the three women we know as Sheila, Donna and Angie…tough, bright, effectively strong with solid opinions like you, their mother.
I said to myself as I finished writing “goodbye” Betty.
Thanks for enriching Richmond Hill and those of us who knew you, woman Rotarian, first woman to serve on City Council, Mayor Pro Tem, realtor, business owner.
Ahead of your time, a hero of Richmond Hill. Goodbye and thank
Brazer, a resident of Ford Plantation, is a longtime local volunteer and serves as chairwoman of the Richmond Hill Downtown Development Authority.