Betty Bowden


Mrs. Betty Howard (Crockett) Bowden was born on Nov. 3, 1949, and died peacefully at her home on Jan. 29, 2024. She was daughter of the late Howard Douglas Crockett and Elizabeth Jane Crockett, of Tangier Island, and the beloved wife of the late Donald Bowden, with whom she was married 50 years before his death in October 2018. Their marriage taught their children the meaning of commitment.

Betty spent her life on Tangier Island and took pride in her role as a wife, mother, and homemaker. Her home was always warm and welcoming. She most enjoyed the days when the family was all together. Betty had a great childhood growing up around generations of her family and extended family — grandparents, great-grandparents, and cousins ­­— all of whom lived on the island. She looked back on her childhood with great fondness. 

Betty graduated from Tangier Combined School in 1968 and enjoyed her classmates and that special connection for many years after. Working for many years at the island’s two grocery stores, she was hard-working and dependable. She was very friendly and quick to laugh. The summers spent working at her husband’s crab house were her favorite. Betty enjoyed her life on Tangier Island. There was no other place she would rather have been.

The word that best describes Betty is contentment. She exemplified Philippians 4:11, “For I have learned in whatever state to be content.” A member of the New Testament Church as both a child and an adult, she heard the truth and saw it lived out. She accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior at a 1995 revival service on the island. Betty was happy and content with the life God had given to her, even in her later years with failing health.

Betty was predeceased by her husband; parents; brothers, Mark Crockett and Thomas Crockett; her niece, Stephanie Daly; and great-nephew, Jordan Wesley.

She is survived by her children, Diana Johnson (Carl), of New Hampshire, Marilyn Pruitt (Jeff), of Tangier Island, and Donald Bowden (Jennifer), of Tangier Island. Her daughter-in-law, Jennifer, was more like a daughter; she was a loving friend, caregiver, and the reason Betty was able to be at home until the end. She is also survived by grandchildren, Corinne Pruitt, Jill Pruitt, Abigail Johnson, Elijah Johnson, and  Piper Bowden; nephew, Duane Crockett; niece, Anna Burt; lifelong friend, Cindy Pruitt; and many other family members and friends.

Funeral services were held at the New Testament Congregation on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024 at 2 p.m., with her nephew, Elder Duane Crockett officiating. Interment was in the Crockett Family Cemetery.

Contributions in Betty’s memory may be made to the New Testament Congregation, P.O. Box 266, Tangier, VA 23440.

Memory tributes may be shared with the family at

Arrangements were by the Williams Funeral Homes, Onancock and Parksley.

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