ARBUTUS “Booty” EPLING BERRY, 81, of Genoa, W.Va., went home to be with the Lord on August 6, 2023, unexpectedly at home. She was born November 21, 1941, a daughter of the late Oscar and Margaret Epling. Two brothers, Oscar Epling Jr., and Emil Atlos “Mouse” Epling also preceded her in death. On December 19, 1965, she married the love of her life, Lonnie Berry, and was happily married for these 57 years.
Surviving are their three daughters, Lesa (Cam) Followay of Fort Gay, W.Va., Tresa (John) Davis of Genoa, and Laura (Willard) Pierce of Wayne, W.Va.; 10 grandchildren; Camilla (Micheal) Vaughan, Christopher (Patricia) Followay, Clorissia Followay (Scott), Joshua (Lexy) Followay, Kristin (Lee) Chambers, Amanda (Mike) Wooten, Melinda (Nathan) Harless, Katilyn Davis, Brittany Pierce and Monica (Caleb) Napier; 30 great grandchildren; Chase and Casen Vaughan, Allison Followay-Miller, Christopher Jr., Dylan Followay, Elizabeth Johnson, whom had her first great-great granddaughter, Madilyn Nicole Hazlett, Camron Johnson, Alyssa, Joshua Jr., Makayla Followay and Calle Crum, William (Axel), Audra Kay, John Micheal Burns (Wooten), Jazmine, Serria Wooten, Scarlett, Kendall Jackson and Penelope Harless, Dresden, Kalvin Leaman (Wooten) Delilah, Gunner Jarvis, Everly, Zaylee, Brian (Kolt) Booth, and Ivoriella Rowe, Ryleighn, Kadence, Maverick Napier.
Also surviving is her sister Blanche Adkins; along with many nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly.
Booty was known for her feisty ways in life. She was never sitting down- always wide open doing something. She loved being on the road and visiting people. She would tell all of us stories for days and laugh through every one she told. Many stories included the time they lived in Kentucky. Later she would go back and visit Bill and Della Cox often to ride horses.
When Bob Lycans would come to visit she would say “that’s your rich uncle that got out of the poor house.” He would come to take mamaw rides on the motorcycle and she enjoyed that so much.
She loved all her neighbors on Big Lynn and never missed a beat calling them all; every morning, one by one. She was always just a call away for anyone that needed her and she would be there for anything.
No one would ever catch her out and about without blue jeans and her hat on. Even going to church, she wore her hat and took it off in the car before service.
In her younger years, you could catch her out and about with her best friend Mary Clark doing storm work down at the ocean or just traveling and getting eat up by those fire ants “as big as a quarter” she would say. But she enjoyed every bit of her time with Mary.
She also enjoyed fishing and squirrel hunting. She could skin a squirrel quicker than anyone and made the best Mexican Cornbread and fried potatoes.
All of her grandchildren were her pride and joy. Hoss (Camillia) was the “pick”. None of us could ever compare to her. She was the first born and the favorite even though it was a close run with Kristin because that was her “baby”. Anytime Katie got in trouble she would say “it’s Katie by door”. I’ll never forget the time she asked Katie if she wanted some sassy fraise tea and made her go get her own switch. One time I called her by her name and not mamaw and she whooped me on the creek bank of the spillway. To this day I’ll not call her by name. But I (Brittany) learned the value of respect (and how to fish with just a stick and line that day). We all knew to-mind our P’s and Q’s but Josh never had a care in the world. He was mean just to have mamaw chase him down and hold him on her lap because he loved every minute of it. Melinda was the “good one” and mamaw would have us be quiet as a church mouse and she did just that. She would sit as close as she could next to mamaw and not speak a word. She said Amanda was her “curly Sue baby” and loved her black curly hair. She never called Monica by her name it was always Moni. She is the baby of the grandkids and we all knew it and so did she, and mamaw made it known. She was so prideful when Clorissia came along because Camillia wanted a baby for her birthday and she got just that. Mamaw told the world about it. She bragged to everyone that Chris “Bubby” could take anything apart and put it back together. And just when I thought she loved us more than anything, here came the great grandkids.
When social media became a thing, mamaw never missed a beat. She would sit in her chair by the window on her tablet calling everyone she knew from the time she woke till she went to bed. She enjoyed seeing all the pictures of the grandchildren whom she didn’t get to see much of in person.
Her last trip out of town was to Tennessee and she enjoyed the Christmas lights and road the Great Smokey Mountain Ferris Wheel. She never feared anything. In her younger years you would catch her climbing trees, flipping over fences and just having fun. Our mamaw wasn’t like anyone else’s mamaw, she was the BEST mamaw who loved us all the same and did her very best to make sure it was known.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, August 10, 2023, at Johnson-Tiller Funeral Home, with Rev. Willard Pierce officiating. Burial will follow at Elmwood Cemetery Annex. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday.