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Elizabeth G. Wills

October 28, 2015

Southern Shores – Elizabeth G. Wills (“Bettie”) of Southern Shores died on October 28, 2015 at the age of 80. She was predeceased by her Husband Bob Wills and survived by her three children; her son Jim Wills, her Daughter Laura Mitchell and her husband John, her son Greg Wills and his wife Stephanie, and her four grandchildren, Spencer and Olivia Mitchell, and Sam and Jonah Wills. She was well loved by her family and her many friends and neighbors.

Bettie was born on August 31, 1935 in the small farming town of Jackson North Carolina and grew up nestled in a community filled with family, friends, the local Methodist church and a whole host of characters that could have come straight from a classic novel of the rural south. Her summers were spent at the family beach home in Southern Shores where she developed a deep love of swimming, fishing and frolicking on the Outer Banks.

As a young woman Bettie moved to Greensboro North Carolina where she met and married a young lawyer named J. Robert Wills (“Bob”). Shortly after their marriage, Bob left his job as an assistant United States Attorney and embarked on a career as a case officer in the CIA’s clandestine services. For the next twenty five years Bob, Bettie and their three children traveled back and forth between the Washington, DC area and various overseas postings including extended family tours in Bangkok, Thailand, Jakarta, Indonesia and Melbourne, Australia. While her husband served his country as a spy during the cold war Bettie played her role as the wife of an American diplomate. She carried her southern accent and manners like a battle flag and shocked, amused, embarrassed and charmed diplomates throughout the world. She imposed the values, beliefs, and customs she knew from small town North Carolina upon her kids and described their upbringing overseas and in DC as weird and fun but decidedly lacking in its connection to a small southern town and a local Methodist Church
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In 1985, she and Bob returned to North Carolina and purchased a house in Southern Shores where she immediately immersed herself in the community by meeting all her neighbors, greeting them daily, chatting easily and candidly, and becoming deeply involved in the Duck United Methodist Church. She lived in Southern Shores for the next thirty one years and considered it “her town.” Bettie was one of those lucky people who had the ability to retain a loyal and devoted bond with childhood friends, cousins, and college roommates while easily and quickly making new friends and forming new bonds where ever she went and with whomever she met.

She enjoyed travel, good books, interesting conversation, competitive bridge, wine and cigarettes. She loved God, her family, her church and her friends. Those of us who knew her best will miss her most and take comfort in knowing that she is now with God in the room that Jesus Christ prepared for her many years ago when she gave her heart to him in Jackson, North Carolina.

A memorial service for Bettie will be held on November 7th, 2015 at 11:00 am at Duck United Methodist church. A reception will follow immediately after the service in the fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made in honor of Bettie Wills to the Duck United Methodist church for the caring hands ministry or for the ZOE Foundation.

Condolences to the family may be expressed via the online register at www.gallopfuneralservices.com.  Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was entrusted with arrangements.