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Elizabeth “Bettie” Lattin Makel passed away February 5 at the age of 99. Bettie had a full and interesting life. She was delivered by her grandmother, Dr. Cora Lattin, at Buffalo Children’s Hospital on August 11, 1923. Shortly after her birth, while in Fort Benning, GA, Bettie caught diphtheria and was transported back to Buffalo to receive life-saving treatment from her grandmother. Bettie grew up an Army brat living in Ft. Benning, France, Ft. Leavenworth and both sides of the Panama Canal, where she was particularly fond of Ft. De Lesseps, near Colon. She also cherished her time at the Presidio, Governor’s Island and her parents’ “home base,” Ft. Monmouth, NJ, where they lived several times before her parents permanently settled nearby. She attended high school in San Francisco and Berkeley and Stephens College in Columbia, MO. Her father, a member of the U.S. Army’s last cavalry division, taught her how to ride and fostered her love of horses. She was an avid sportswoman who, besides riding, loved to swim, play tennis and golf. In her later years she skied, scuba dived and gardened extensively. An active knitter,
she made clothes for herself and her family and friends. She also made many tiny hats for premature babies, knitting 126 during the COVID lockdown and thousands more in her lifetime.
Shortly after World War II Bettie married her husband, David Day Makel. They moved to Moorestown, NJ, and raised their only child, David Drake Makel. Bettie and Dave thrived in Moorestown, much of their lives revolving around Trinity Episcopal Church. The two were fixtures in the choir, members of innumerable committees, and the church’s social club, the “Tri-Cs.” They loved to sing, dance, host dinner parties and play bridge with their friends. After the death of her husband, Dave, Bettie (better known as “Nomie” to her grandchildren and their friends) moved to Virginia to be close to her son, David, his wife Martha and their family. There, with her nephew, architect Jay Farrell, she fulfilled her dream of designing her own home. She loved to work outside, maintaining her beautiful and expansive garden. She generously spread her love of the outdoors, gardening for others and rescuing endangered plants with the Wintergreen Nature Foundation. She became very involved in her new church, Holy Cross Episcopal in Batesville, and working tirelessly with the Food Bank. She hosted a weekly bridge group and was a fixture at the local gym, 5 Star Fitness. She taught her grandchildren to swim and play tennis, took them for bike rides, skied with them, and cheered them on at sporting, dancing and school events. Even with her busy life, she was ready every Sunday with a full dinner (complete with china and silverware settings), hosting her family, extended family and countless others from the community. When Bettie was no longer able to live alone she became one of the first residents of The Lodge at Old Trail in Crozet VA, where she enjoyed her new apartment, made wonderful friends and welcomed new residents.There she started attending water aerobics classes, an activity she enjoyed until within 6 months of her passing. Later, Bettie moved to Savannah Georgia to live near her son’s family, which eventually included great-grandchildren.
Bettie was a joy to be around, an easy-going gal with an infectious laugh and a smile that could light up any room. She was selfless, fearless and always up for an adventure. She traveled extensively with family, friends, and acquaintances. She cherished her Lord and Savior, contributed selflessly to her community and loved her family dearly. Bettie is preceded in death by her parents, Col. Jay Drake Billings Lattin and Marie-Therese “Totie” Bergier Lattin, her husband, David Day Makel, and her sister, Jeannine Lattin
Farrell. She is survived by her son, David Drake Makel and his wife Martha; her granddaughter Sagen Elizabeth Lucienne and her children, Graham and Rhea Blake;and her grandson, Avery Drake Makel. She was blessed with loving nieces and nephews, a wonderful extended family and innumerable friends, all of whom adored her and were delighted to call her family.
Special thanks go out to those who cared for her over the years, especially the nurses, medical technicians and staff on the second floor of Buckingham South, who always treated her like their own grandmother, and to Ms. Claretha Price, who was a dear friend and companion in her last years.
A memorial Service will be held at 11:00 on March 18th at All Saints Episcopal Church, 804 Jones Ave, Tybee Island GA.
She was a treasure. Living life to its fullest, lovingly others and always anxious to help others. May light perpetually shine on her soul. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
- Allen Lewis, Tybee Island, GA
We always talk about the first day we met Bettie, unloading her groceries next door and how Bill went up to her and offered to help, only to get a very polite, no, thank you, I am just fine! That was a start to a beautiful friendship! We will always remember her with love, and will have fond memories of being invited to many family dinners at Cedar Meadow, then at Rosewood and Old Trail. She was a great role model to us! May she be at eternal peace! Sending the family our heartfelt condolences and love.
- Bill & Enoka Perrelli, Nellysford, VA
Betty, as well as her husband Dave and son Dave, will always be a big part of my memory of growing up in Moorestown, New Jersey in the 1960's...Betty always had a smile on her face, and would make you feel happy to be alive!...She brought light to all the lives she touched. God Bless her, and the Makel family,.... Chris
- Chris Weatherly, Stevensville,, Montana
Bettie was always a joy to be around. On Sunday mornings, at All Saints Episcopal Church, I had the pleasure to sit next to her, her family - David and Martha. I remember the many hats she knitted for premature babies. A ray of sunshine has left this earth.
- Patricia Leiby, Tybee Island, GA
Bright smile, easy laughter, warm and interested. I was lucky to have spend a week with her, Dave, Martha, Sage and Avery scuba diving in Grand Caymen! As they say, Bettie was “one of a kind”! Hugs and blessings to Dave and all those who knew and loved her. Kathy
- Kathy Clark-Gelburd, Charlottesville , Va
My deepest condolences to Bettie family. I enjoy taking care of her at Buckingham South . We had great conversation when we was working on her puzzle she will be missed..
- Lisa Moore, Savannah, GA
To David, Martha, and family: I know your lives were blessed with having Bettie in it. In fact, any and everyone having known Bettie, were indeed blessed with the gift of her friendship. Bettie was the first neighbor I met when I moved to Nellysford in March 2009. I had the enormous pleasure of having her as a sweet, smiling, and always available to help neighbor until she left for Georgia sometime in 2012. She treated me to many delicious and lovingly prepared meals. I marveled over her desire to be and stay physically fit -- which, no doubt, contributed to her long and precious life. May you all carry her blessed memory with you forever and be comforted in knowing that Bettie is watching over you with everlasting love and protection. I send my love love and prayers.
- Joanne Hirsch, Nellysford, VA
Bettie was one of the first people I met when we moved to Stoney Creek in 2000. We worked out together at Five Star Fitness, along with her daughter in law, Martha. She was such an inspiration! Our birthdays were one day apart (although she was nineteen years older than I) so we always had a connection. She was a lovely, lovely lady and should be a role model for us all. My best wishes to all her family.
- Mary Gurr, Nellysford, VA
Bettie was such a sweet neighbor. I remember her coming to our Super Bowl party and her driving her little electric car. She would take my grandchildren for a ride. We missed her being at Wintergreen but had a few visits at Old Trail. What a joyful lady.
- Cathy Kiehl, Rosewood Dr, Nellysford, Va
Dear Martha, Dave , Sagen and Avery, What sad news to read about Bettie’s passing. And yet, the wonderful photo you posted makes us smile and remember her so fondly. Our 12 years in Nellysford were certainly enriched by the Makel family, with Bettie at the helm. A neighbor “extraordinaire” from the day we moved in, to sharing her family with us, which lead to many fun adventures. We’re sure she will be missed but she certainly touched so many people and had a tremendous influence on friends and family. We are thankful to have known her. Lots of love, Bob and Tina
- Tina and Bon Ashton, Saratoga springs, NY
We loved seeing Betty in church at Holy Cross, Batesville, VA - she was a beautiful spirit, full of love and life, and she brought so much to our church community. We miss her deeply. Rest in peace, dear Betty.
- Raven Debbie A Hunter and Peter Hunter, Charlottesville, VA
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
- Memorial Service
- 11:00 a.m. on Sat, March 18, 2023
- All Saints Episcopal Church
804 Jones Ave. (map)
Tybee Island GA 31328