Betty Sisk

Betty Sisk, age 89, died at her home in Leesburg on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, from complications related to vascular dementia. Betty was born on October 20, 1930, in a house in Leesburg’s historic district, along with two sisters and three brothers, all deceased. Both her parents, Mary and Paul Wright, had relocated from the Lovettsville area to Leesburg during the 1920s. Betty lived and worked in Leesburg her entire life. While a teenager, she survived a life-threatening automobile accident before graduating from Leesburg High School. She later married Calvin Sisk, a native of Lincoln, and two boys, Terry and Mike, were welcomed into their household. They later provided a home for her niece, Charlotte, upon the death of her sister-in-law, Elva Wright. The expanded family, which had resided in a farmhouse on what is now an estate community known as Shenstone Farm at Clark’s Gap, relocated to the Prospect Hills community in downtown Leesburg. As an adult, she worked for only one employer, C&P Telephone Company, first as a switchboard operator, then as a decades-long member of the field engineer’s office, for which she completed technical training at Virginia Tech satellite campuses. At the conclusion of a 42-year tenure, she retired from C&P in December 1992. Betty and Calvin were avid golfers and active participants in the country club lifestyle, making frequent trips to renowned golf resorts from South Carolina to Florida. Both were civic-minded and held leadership positions in the Leesburg Lions and Lioness clubs. Betty joined her mother as a member of the Rebeka Lodge. For many decades, Betty worked as a volunteer for Loudoun Hospital while also serving on the Ladies Board. She was a vocal opponent of the hospital’s move from Cornwall Street to Lansdowne. Very vocal. In August 1981, her son Mike perished in an automobile accident, and in 1993 her husband and mother died within weeks of each other, both from cancer. On her birthday later that year, she suffered a major stroke, from which she achieved a full recovery. Thereafter, Betty became a frequent traveler, sharpening her formidable shopping skills to world class status. For her the glory of Bermuda was not the pink sand beaches, but the fact that there was no sales tax. She shopped her way from Hawaii through South America and the Caribbean to western and eastern Europe. She required extra pages in her passport and learned that honesty was not always the best policy when it came to customs declarations. Many of her travels were completed while accompanying her son Terry on his international career as a piano and organ recitalist. The comfort of spending winters in Fort Lauderdale came to an end as subsequent strokes limited her range and physical abilities. In 2014, her son relocated to Leesburg to oversee her care. Because neither knew their way around a kitchen, they blazed a trail through local restaurants at the rate of more than a dozen a week. Manic shopping was replaced by manic restaurant dining. Even though dementia affected her focus and limited her speech, she could still be seen dining out a week before her death. On May 5, 2020, Betty passed away peacefully at home under the assistance of Blue Ridge Home Hospice care with Terry at her side. A memorial service will be held at a future date.

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