Betty Brockwell McClure, 79, of Westwood, Massachusetts, passed away on March 5, 2020 in the loving presence of her son, David Atkins, and daughter-in-law Jennifer. She is also survived by her 3 grandchildren, Sharon Elizabeth (Shay), Jason Lee, and Marshall Schuyler Atkins. A memorial service will be held Monday, March 16, 10am, at the First Parish of Westwood, 252 Clapboardtree St.
Betty Rae was born on December 16, 1940 in Newport News, Virginia, to Freda Nightengale and Raymond Washington Brockwell. At the hospital, Raymond presented a football to his newborn daughter. A self-described "tomboy," Betty enjoyed playing baseball and other sports with the neighborhood kids and forming a lifelong bond with her cousin Bernie Embry. She graduated from Newport News High School in 1958 and attended Virginia Tech where she met and married Dave Atkins, Sr. Betty and Dave moved to Smithfield, Virginia where they raised their only son David. After David left home to attend college at MIT, Betty and Dave Sr. divorced, but remained friends. Betty went to work for Virginia Power where she eventually met and married Douglas McClure in 1988. Together they moved to central Virginia, spending time in Lexington, Farmville, and settling in the beautiful, rural hills of Burkeville. Faith in God and Jesus was always central to Betty's life and finding and joining the Riverside Community Church in Farmville brought her great joy. Riverside was a strong community of faith and a second family to Betty and she loved sharing the story of her May 5, 2005 baptism by Pastor Frank Lacey.
In 2013 Betty moved to Massachusetts to be near her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. For the past 6 years, Betty lived at Highland Glen in Westwood where she made many cherished friends and was able to enjoy spending time with and getting to know her grandchildren.
Kindness, tolerance, acceptance of others and a desire to help dominated Betty's life, but she was also a person of strong opinions and an infallible judge of character. Betty was also a bit of a rebel. Throughout her life, she maintained friendships with people of widely varying perspectives (especially politically) through her genuine empathy and acceptance of the good in people, while never conceding her strong opinions or sense of what was fundamentally right and wrong. She did what she wanted to do with an inner strength and purpose that could not be resisted.
Honoring Betty's great love for the animals in our world and loving companions in our lives, in lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations be made to the Neponset Valley Humane Society, Forever Home Rescue New England or the animal rescue organization of your choice.