Betty Watsons banking style represented a lost era


By SAM HATCHER

Many in our community were saddened to read this week about the passing of Betty Watson.

Mrs. Watson died Tuesday. She was 84.

We all have so many fond memories of her and such a great deal of respect for her professional career in banking.

For years, long before such banking terms as subprime lending and underwater mortgages, Betty Watson sat on the west side of the lobby in the old Lebanon Bank building on West Main Street and made bank loans to folks based on who they were, what their family history had been and how much she believed in them.

She was the executive vice president of the bank and Bob VanHooser was president.

There weren’t that many female bankers during that period and certainly not many who had reached the senior management level.

She was a sweet, kind and always welcoming personality in the bank.

And in many respects Betty Watson was a pioneer in her field. She was a member of the first board of directors of the University Medical Center and was a leader in helping to organize the hospital.

She was active in the chamber of commerce, the Lebanon Kiwanis Club, and was most generous with her time to volunteer for duties with local charities and community organizations.

Mrs. Watson will sorely be missed but will surely be long remembered for the many good deeds for which her name is associated.