Bettye Cooke Paramore
Bettye Cooke Paramore passed away on August 8, 2021, 90 years old, after a two year battle with leukemia. She was predeceased by her husband of 66 years, Walter Hoytt Paramore, Jr. and survived by their three children Walter Hoytt Paramore, III and wife Wendy of Sneads Ferry, Katherine Carman Ortmann and husband Simon of Denmark, and Bettye Jo Johnson and husband Michael of Cary. Bettye is also survived by her sister Mary Cooke Kerlin and husband Robert of Chapel Hill, and Rebecca Liberty of New Bern. Bettye has seven grandchildren—Matthew Hoytt Paramore and wife Charlotte, John Stephen Carman and wife Kristen, Caroline Mary Carman and husband Taylor, Megan Ashley Johnson, Meredith Leigh Johnson, Rachel Marie Paramore, Grant Sanders Paramore. Bettye is survived by her four adored great grandchildren—Charlotte Chapman Paramore, Sophia Baldwin Paramore, Delaney Brooke Carman, and Miles David Fearrington. Bettye was predeceased by her parents Walter and Katherine Harris Cooke, and her son-in-law David Spencer Carman.
Bettye grew up in Whiteville, North Carolina. She met Walter at Whiteville High School at age 15, and it was love at first sight. After attending Women’s College in Greensboro for one year, the couple married in 1950 in Whiteville and started life together in Chapel Hill where Walter attended the University of North Carolina and graduated with a degree in certified public accounting. Walter and Bettye settled in New Bern in 1952, joined Christ Episcopal Church that same year, and remained in New Bern.
Bettye will be most remembered for her kindness, intelligence, volunteerism, and devotion to her husband, her family and friends, and her church. Bettye was a spiritual woman who shared a deep and abiding love of God with her husband Walter. She also believed strongly in civic responsibility and being involved in her community and church. During her almost 70 years in New Bern, Bettye was very active in Christ Episcopal Church in a variety of roles, but she was most proud of the 50 years she served on the Altar Guild. In her seventies, Bettye trained with husband Walter as a Stephen minister to help others through grief and loss. Around that time, she and Walter realized a lifelong dream by traveling to the Holy Land to experience the world of Christ. Bettye was recognized by the Eastern Diocese of the Episcopal Church in 2017 for “By Word and Example” series and was featured in an article on their website at https://www.ecw-nc.org/by-word-and-example/bettye-jo-cooke-paramore.html. Bettye was an active member of Daughters of the King until her death.
Bettye was also active in her community. She served as treasurer and board member at the New Bern Historical Society and was also very active in the New Bern’s Women Club where she served as treasurer for over 20 years. In the 1970s, Bettye started working as a guide at Tryon Palace and eventually moved to the gift shop where she worked for over 30 years. Bettye loved working at Tryon Place because it was an opportunity to meet new people and tell them about New Bern—the town she had adopted and grown to love. She found another way to share her love of New Bern when she, husband Walter, and two other couples developed and ran a bed and breakfast, The Kings Arms, in the 1980s. Bettye was especially proud that their little inn attracted guests from all over the world and that so many returned over and over again to enjoy the town and the hospitality offered at Kings Arms.
Bettye will also be remembered as a loyal and supportive friend who had a kind word for everyone. Throughout her long life, she inspired love in everyone around her. Bettye was a talented bridge player and was always in great demand as a partner. In her seventies, Bettye learned bookkeeping so she could help husband Walter in his accounting business—as always enjoying the opportunity to learn, try new things, and meet new people.
The family wishes to thank their many close friends, Reverends Paul Canady and Cortney Dale and the entire congregation of Christ Episcopal Church for all their love and support during Bettye’s last years. A special thank you to Dr. John Cho and his wonderful staff at the Carolina East Hematology/Oncology Center who took such great care of Bettye when she was diagnosed with leukemia in 2019.
A memorial service to celebrate Bettye’s life will be held at Christ Episcopal Church on August 16, 2021 at 1:00pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in Bettye’s name to Crystal Coast Hospice Center in Newport, Christ Episcopal Church or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.