Betty Jean Lanouette

July 28, 1940 - December 30, 2019
Betty Jean Lanouette

Betty Jean Lanouette, age 79, of Wilmington, peacefully passed away at home on Monday, December 30, 2019.

She was born in Wilmington, NC, on July 28, 1940, the daughter of the late James Carson Powell and Perdita Jones Powell.

At the age of seven, Betty Jean Lanouette witnessed a tragedy which, while it deeply influenced her life, never erased her sweetness. Until the end, she had an unlimited capacity for joy and wonder, curiosity and eagerness, and a strong sense of fairness and justice.

Betty and her beloved husband, Robert, married soon after high school. Bob was a Marine, and as they moved from assignment to assignment, Betty raised their first three children. Whether it was Carol Burnett, Eddie Murphy, or her mother’s false teeth flying out during a sneeze, Betty could laugh until she cried, ensuring everyone else did too. She tried new food without hesitation, no matter if it was from Burger King or an upscale restaurant, or made by one of her children. From Furbies and Gameboys to tablets and smartphones, she was eager to play with the newest technologies, and you could find her listening to the Platters, the Andrews Sisters, Queen, Save Ferris, and even Motorhead.

Betty enjoyed art, whether it was Monet or Chagall or a child using eyeliner on wallpaper; if it was beautiful, or simply heartfelt, she loved it. She herself was creative and talented. She drew life-like pictures of animals on lunchbox notes. She could paint and sing, knit and crochet, and would create rhymes on the spot.

Betty’s intelligence shined brightest in her teaching. She could guide you through a complicated recipe over the phone and could always clearly explain and help with math homework. She understood the care of abandoned baby animals, and could show how to make the hardest jumps in Super Mario Brothers. She taught more intangible things, like kindness and thoughtfulness, a high regard for animals, and the importance of placing people before possessions.

Most of all, Betty was loving, caring, generous, and protective. She fiercely defended her children from bullies and school administrators. She spoke up for orphans and mistreated animals. She would even defend people she was no longer friends with, simply because she had once cared for them.

The last years of her life were difficult, but the pain never eclipsed her spirit. Her love for her husband and children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, was at the forefront of her thoughts, and we honor Betty Jean Lanouette by remembering this love.

We’ll be alright, Momma. After you give Dad a hug, go play with Vanda. You two have alot of catching up to do.

Betty is survived by her four children: Cheryl, Karen, Bobby, and James; three grandchildren: Christopher, Samantha, and Lucianne; and three great-grandchildren: Joshua, Caleb, and Sophia.

Together with her parents she was predeceased by her husband Robert and siblings Vanda, Sammy, Lucy and Tommy.

The family will gather at the graveside for a Funeral Service to be held at 12:00 pm on Friday, January 3, 2020, at the Seagate Cemetery, 52nd Street and LaPaloma Court in Wilmington.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Post a Condolence” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S.41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099.


Purchase Flowers

Tribute Wall

Please feel free to sign the guestbook or share a memory



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • January 02, 2020
    Carolyn Williams says:
    A beautiful tribute to your mother! She was sick when I met her but she was very gracious to my late daughter and I. I will remember her fondly as I do your father. May they both enjoy heaven together now!

  • January 03, 2020
    Karen says:
    I remember all the joy I had in cooking you all food for days when no one felt up to making anything! Your phone calls of how good the food was let me determined to give you as healthy meals as I could! And the look on your eyes when you opened the cord on Christmas day for your tablet was priceless! I knew you were not excited about it because you thought it was for the old tablet that stopped working! Then your eyes lit up even more when you opened your brand new 10 inch tablet from all of us kids! I wish you had a few more days to enjoy it and all the bingo money Bobby bought for the play store! I miss you and can't even begin to think of how my before work hours are going to be. I will continue to shop for Bobby and see him on my way to work, but it will never be the same!