On Monday, July 22, 2019, beloved mother, wife, sister, aunt, and friend, Vavra Allison (Betterton), passed away at the age of 70. Her sweet and generous spirit is carried on in the many lives she touched during her lifetime. Vavra was born in Boulder, CO on March 1, 1949 and moved cross-country with her parents and siblings to Huntsville in the late 1950s, where she worked (Loveman’s Department Store, Huntsville Hospital and Component Distributors Inc.), raised her kids, started a sewing business (cleverly named Allibags), and lived for the remainder of her days.
Vavra was preceded in death by her father, Joe, her brother, Gary, her mother, Eloise, her dear friend and surrogate daughter, Brooke Johnson, her beloved and feisty poodle, Bogus, her granddogs, Wick and Logan, and several wayward cats she cared about who always had a home on the Allison back porch. She is survived by her husband, William “Bill” Allison, her daughter, Marisa (wife Annie, their son Milo), her son, Harold (wife, Sheila, their children, Samantha and Nicholas), her daughter, Althea (her children James, Marcus, Tasha, Shay, and Casey), 13 great grandchildren, her siblings, brothers, Frank and Jim Betterton, sister, Sherry Carrell, “sisters” Laverne Allison and Linda Streeter, many dear in-laws, nieces, nephews, friends, and family too numerous to count and two (possibly three) wayward cats (Feral Kitty, Tabby Cat, and “Cat”sanova whom was run off by Tabby, two very loud parakeets, and an adopted neighborhood raccoon, Rocky.
Those who knew her were blessed to learn many valuable life lessons from her: If someone comes to your house, put on a fresh pot of coffee whether they drink it or not and don’t let them leave with an empty belly. Disregard the fill line on your fabric softener and make your things as soft as you want. It’s okay to admit that sometimes you need to trash talk about trash tv when a “real housewife” rubs you the wrong way. Read every book you own at least three times. No matter what you have going on, always drop what you are doing when your child calls you. If you love someone, tell them, then tell them again and again to make sure they know. Even when it feels like you are alone in trying to mend broken fences in your family, never give up. If some wayward soul needs a place to stay, always share your home with them. If you can grow it, can it. If you can’t grow it, buy it then can it. You never know when you’ll need to cook for an army of family and friends. If you love someone, get out your sewing machine and make them something- be it a purse, pillows, curtains, blankets, tutus, or a wedding dress. Love and accept the people you care about regardless of their beliefs, identities, bad habits, or addictions and never give up on any of them. You haven’t given a good Christmas present if at least one person doesn’t cry at your thoughtfulness. A two-hour long telephone conversation means you are having a meaningful and real conversation. Even if the roots of the Crimson Tide run deep in your family tree, it won’t hurt you to let out a “War Eagle” for your daughter-in-law during games they aren’t playing Alabama. The best way to show the people you love that you care about them is through your actions and not just your words, though those matter too. Those who have taken her lessons to heart will continue to feed, house, and caffeinate the people they care about when they need it, will pass on the family traditions, recipes, and the love of cooking and all things handmade that made anyone who came into her home feel welcome, and will honor her memory by being a steadfast and welcoming embrace for anyone who needs it.
A celebration of life memorial will be held for Vavra at Monte Sano State Park Lodge on August 30, 2019 at 3pm. In lieu of flowers, we kindly ask that you make donations in her name to the Russel Hill Cancer Foundation.
To send flowers to Vavra's family, please visit our floral section.
Russell Hill Cancer Foundation
3601 CCI Drive, Huntsville AL 35805