Friends recall Hathaway’s fun spirit, love for community
PARKERSBURG — A legacy was once described as “planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”
Betty “B.J.” Hathaway left behind a legacy of community support, laughter and giving as her accomplishments and spirit are celebrated after her passing Wednesday. She and her late husband, Tom, established the Superior Motor Co. in 1973 in Parkersburg.
Among many community involvements, Hathaway played a major role in the Junior League of Parkersburg where she supported projects up until her passing.
Jane Burdette, former Junior League president, knew Hathaway for about 35 years and said she worked to make the local area better for all.
“Her effort has been to strive to provide for the common good and the betterment of the community as a whole (and) to inspire others to help those less privileged,” Burdette said. “She is a major asset that is a loss to our community.”
Along with numerous projects throughout the years, Hathaway worked to restore the Cook House and to provide a community playground at City Park, which soon will be finished, according to Burdette.
“(I loved) watching her quiet way with which she supported community projects. She was not a person who was having to be recognized for all of her support of the community. She would do it in a quiet, subtle way,” Burdette said.
Not only was Hathaway a strong asset to local neighborhoods, she is described by Sherry Dugan, family friend and Junior League member as a delightful woman who brought joy and laughter to everyone around her.
“I think she touched everybody’s life she came in contact with in one way or another,” Dugan said.
Dugan has many years of fond memories of Hathaway and said she wouldn’t know where to begin to talk about all the memories she had with her.
“B.J. was so much fun. She was always upbeat, she was just a delight to be around,” Dugan said. “She was always fun loving. She wanted to be your friend, she wanted to be part of what was going on.”
Dugan’s parents were friends with the Hathaways and she said Hathaway was a mentor to her in her younger days. She always enjoyed their families getting together for meals.
“She was somewhat of a mentor in my younger days and she was a mentor in the junior league for me when I first joined,” Dugan, also a former president, said. “She was a very classy, very great lady. She always turned everything into fun. That’s probably my fondest memory of her, she could make anything fun.”
Candice Black can be reached at email@example.com.