Betty Jean Fanning, of Welch, WV, died Wednesday, October 16, 2019.  She was 87 years old.  Born October 7, 1932 in Hemphill, WV, she was the daughter of the late Mason H. and Helen Lineberry Young.  She was a graduate of the Class of 1950, Welch High School, where she was a cheerleader in her Senior High Years, was elected May Queen in 1950, and was voted most popular in her graduating class.  She was employed by G.C. Murphy, Co. in Welch during her school years.  Upon graduation from High School, she was employed as clerk-typist for U.S. Steel at Munson, WV (Gary 14) for nine months, wrote Society News for Munson in 1950 and 1951 for Welch Daily News, and was a cashier for the telephone company in Welch.  She completed three years of Nursing School at Pulaski Hospital School of Nursing, in Pulaski, VA.  Upon graduation from Nursing School in September 1954, she was employed by Stevens Clinical Hospital in Welch, WV, became a Registered Nurse in December 1954, and retired from there after several years.

Betty Jean married the “Love of her Life”, Robert A. “Bob” Fanning on May 28, 1955, and would have been married 55 years, three days after his death on May 25, 2010.  She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Welch, where she served as an Elder and Missions Chairperson, and served on the Memorial Committee.  She also was a member of Presbyterian women (being a past President) and was a member of the Church Choir.  She loved her Church and Church Family.

Betty Jean loved people and helped anyone she could.  She gave to and worked for many charitable causes, including Heart, Cancer, Lung, Alzheimer’s, and Arthritis.  She was a member of the Legion Auxiliary in Welch, Bramwell Chapter No. 158, Order of Eastern Star, Life Member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, and named a Donor of the Year in 2012 by Hospitalized Veterans.

She loved her family dearly, and her pet “Pug” dog which was a gift from her to her husband Bob in 2009, named “Baby”.  She enjoyed playing bridge which her bridge club girls.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Robert A. “Bob” Fanning, a sister Patricia “Patsy” Blankenship Hudson, and a nephew Richard “Rick” Blankenship.

Survivors include her son Robert Patton Fanning and wife Mary Friel Fanning of Morgantown, daughter Patricia Fanning Renko and husband Fred of Welch, five grandchildren, Mason Cornelius Fanning, Kyle Alexander Fanning, and Helen Rebecca Fanning, Robbi Michelle Renko, and step-granddaughter Holly Renko Tanner and four great-grandchildren, Josiah P. Harrison, D.J., Jacob, and Tori Tanner. In addition, she is survived by one sister, Judith Ferguson Rackley (David) and one brother, Robert E. Young, Sr. (Doris), both of Chesterfield, VA, sister-in-law Judith Fanning Bailey and brother-in-law John Pat Fanning, nieces Frances Ann Sly Bivens, Brenda Fanning Wells, Deborah Fanning Tankersley, and nephews James Sly, John Fanning, Jerry Fergerson, Jr., Ronald Ferguson, Randy Ferguson, Robert E. Young, Jr., and Thomas Young and several great nieces and great nephews.

Funeral services will be on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 11 am at Fanning Chapel; with Pastor Chuck Hammond. Burial will follow at Iaeger Memorial Cemetery at Roderfield, WV. Pallbearers will be Mason Fanning, Kyle Fanning, James Ferguson, Jr., Ronald Ferguson, Randy Ferguson, Bobby Young. Jr., Nathan Young, David Falin. Honorary Pallbearers include Howard “Butch” Bivens, Tony Larkin, and Kenneth Valko.

Friends may call on Friday, October 18, 2019 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Fanning Funeral Home in Welch. 

Flowers are beautiful, but if you so desire, memorials may be made to: 1) First Presbyterian Church, Box 988, Welch, WV 24801; 2) McDowell County Mission Ministries, 409 Virginia Avenue, Welch, WV  24801; 3) The Blaydes Eye Foundation, 1109 W. Cumberland Road, Bluefield, WV  24701;  4) McDowell County Humane Society, Box 714, Welch, WV 24801; or 5) The McDowell Public Library, 88 Howard Street, Welch, WV 24801.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Fanning Funeral Home of Welch is serving the Fanning Family