Betsy Royalty Stewart, 94, of Lexington, the widow of Dan D. Stewart, Jr., passed away on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at Baptist Health. She was the daughter of the late Mayor B. M. and Bernice Patterson Royalty of Harrodsburg and born on historic Morgan Row. She is survived by her son, Daniel Deronda “Dee” Stewart, III.
Betsy graduated top of her class in Harrodsburg, attended Duke, and graduated from Centre College with honors in chemistry. She received her M.A. from the University of Kentucky, taught at Bell County, Lexington, and Naples. She was a member of the Centre and UK Alumni Associations.
She served as Governor of the Kentucky Society of Mayflower Descendants, Regent of Lexington Chapter DAR. A descendant of John and Priscilla Alden, she was a Life Member of Alden Kindred of America. She was a member of Americans of Royal Descent, The Family of Bruce, Daughters of the Union, Daughters of Colonial Order of the Crown, National Society of Magna Charta Dames, Descendants of Colonial Governors, and Colonial Dames of America. She was related to several U.S Presidents, including John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Abraham Lincoln, as well as King Robert the Bruce of Scotland. Her relative was the first doctor to arrive in New Amsterdam.
She met the Prime Minister of Antigua and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at Churchill Downs. She also met the Austrian Ambassador to the U.S., who later became President of Austria, the Press attache, and several Directors of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.
She was First Lady of the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival and President of the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Garden Club in Pineville where she won numerous awards for the best holiday decorated home. She entertained Austrian diplomats and members of the Moscow Circus when they came to see her horses at the Kentucky Horse Park and entertained guests during Pineville’s famed production of The Book of Job.
Her grandparent’s residence in Harrodsburg served as a Civil War hospital for both Confederate and Union wounded soldiers; she owned Diamond Point on the National Historic Register. A world traveler, she enjoyed trips to Canada, Europe, Far East, Middle East, South America, UK, flew on British Airway’s Concorde and sailed on HMS QE2.
She and her family were members of the Dallas Petroleum, Farmington Country-VA, Knickerbocker, Lexington, Pendennis, Queen City, Keeneland, Middlesboro Country, Spindletop and TCA Clubs. She enjoyed many Christmas holidays at The Greenbrier and The Homestead resorts, wintered in Destin, Longboat Key, Naples and summered on Norris Lake. In later years, she enjoyed Mother’s Day celebrations at the Sarasota Yacht Club.
Betsy enjoyed touring the Alden House Historic Site, British Museum of Natural History, Buffalo Bill Museum, The Louvre, Lincoln Museum at LMU, Mayflower Museum, Metropolitan Museum, Ringling Museum, The Smithsonian, and Taft Museum.
A devoted Christian, Betsy was a member and past deacon of Central Christian Church, past member of First Christian Church in Pineville, attended Well Springs UMC, and Longboat Island Chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to President’s Office Midway University, Central Christian Church, or Well Springs UMC-167 Well Rd., LaFollette, TN 37766.
She was preceded in death by several dear friends, including Judy Babbage, Helen Brittain, Callie Brown, Polly Burke, Judy Buskirk, Dr. Betty Eastin, Laura Faulkner, Wilna Freeman, Nell Ikerd, and Tevis Spaulding; friends who have survived her are Edith Asher, Sylvia Baldwin, Adnée Hamilton, Joyce Leverett, Ruth Smith, Ann Todd, and Judy Wells.
Casket bearers are John Cole, Keith Cupp, Eugene Harrell, Murray Harwich, Lamar Hight, and Kent Hisle.
Honorary casket bearers are Dr. Sadiq Ahmed, Roger Baldwin, John Beam, Governor Burke, Dick Collins, Dr. Wanzer Drane, Dr. Lewis Drew, Charlene Eastin, Dr. Charles Eastin, Allen Elling, Mitzi Fuson, Scott Hurst, Steve Keller, Lyle McQuinn, George Morrow, Dr. Terry O’Neill, Vince O’Neill, Walter Patterson, James Ross, Rev. Greg Scott, Dr. Ray Ware, Wayne Wells, William White, Directors of the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival, Directors of First State Bank, and Trustees of Midway University.
Her funeral service will be conducted at Central Christian Church Thursday, March 31 at 1 P.M. with burial following in the Lexington Cemetery.
Friends may call at the church Thursday after 11 A.M. until the funeral hour.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Knox Funeral Home.