Elizabeth Williams Gookin, at age 100, died at home on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, after a brief illness. She was born in Washington, D.C. on April 7, 1922. Betty was the wife of Richard Gookin and mother of Elizabeth Stewart Meyer Anderson (Richard) and Anne Kimbrough Meyer Ford (James), and step-mother of Liza Lowndes Gookin Hodskins (Steven).
Betty's parents were Mr. and Mrs. John Chauncy Williams of "Rockhill," Casanova, Virginia; her grandparents were General and Mrs. Baldwin Day Spilman of "Elway Hall," Warrenton. She was the great granddaughter of U.S. Senator and Mrs. Johnson Newlon Camden of West Virginia.
Betty was one of the first students at the Warrenton Calvert School which later became Highland School. She attended St. Catherine's School in Richmond and later graduated from Oldfields School at Glencoe, Maryland. Betty received a B.A. degree from Sweet Briar College in 1944.
She was an educator in Richmond for many years and a founder of Stony Point School in nearby Bon Air. In 1971, she moved to Middleburg, Virginia, where she taught at Hill School for three years, after which, as a spouse, she took a special interest in her husband's career at the Department of State in Washington. Betty was much admired in promoting goodwill with members of the diplomatic corps and their families, and with visiting foreign chiefs of state and heads of government, who were guests of the President.
In 1994, on the death of her aunt, Margaret Spilman Bowden, Betty and Richard moved to "The Oaks," near Warrenton. Betty was a gracious hostess, opening "The Oaks," to community charitable events, family weddings and celebrations, and holiday gatherings.
Betty was twice President of the Warrenton Antiquarian Society, an active member of St. James' Episcopal Church in Warrenton, a board member of the Fauquier County SPCA, and of the John S. Mosby Foundation.
Lovingly known as "Gigi" to her five grandchildren, Michael Anderson (Kathryn), Caroline Elizabeth Anderson (deceased), Anne Berkeley, David Ford and Christopher Ford (Megan), and to her great-grandchildren Margaret Caroline Anderson and Walter Stewart Anderson, she will be remembered for her warmth, humor, and charm, devotion to family, and life-long support of animal welfare causes.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at 4 pm at St. James Episcopal Church, 73 Culpeper St., Warrenton, VA.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Fauquier County SPCA, PO Box 733, Warrenton, VA 20188, or to the Warrenton Antiquarian Society, PO Box 239, Warrenton, VA 20188, for the restoration of "Weston.”