Yvonne Betts Sobel, 82, of Mooresville, N.C., and formerly of North Augusta, S.C., passed away at home on November 13, 2020.
Yvonne was born in Valdosta, Ga., on September 25, 1938, to Eber Lessie Betts and Myrtice Vickers Betts and grew up in the tiny town of Willacoochee, Ga. Her family moved “into town” to Douglas, Ga., when she was in high school. Yvonne showed musical talent early and was recruited by Shorter College (now Shorter University) in Rome, Ga., as a piano performance major, where she studied with the Hungarian pianist Elizabeth Buday. After graduating with a B.Mus. from Shorter, Yvonne pursued graduate studies in piano and music education at both the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and Florida State University. At Florida State, she met her future husband Robert Sobel. Following Robert while he worked on his Ph.D., she was a secretary at Associated Music Publishers in New York City, where she was able to correspond with major composers of the day, and then at Guiliani Associates Architecture in Washington, D.C., who designed a new terminal for the airport in Washington, now Reagan National Airport.
In 1970, Yvonne settled in North Augusta, S.C., where she raised two children and lived until just three years ago. There she combined her musical excellence with her passion for worship by serving as the Music Assistant at First Baptist Church of North Augusta for 24 years, leading the children’s music programs, creating a respected summer music camp, speaking and leading at statewide music conferences, and enriching the lives of many hundreds of children. After retiring from her church position, Yvonne turned to painting as her new passion, working mainly in watercolors, with some works also in acrylics and oils. She became the president of the North Augusta Artists Guild and continued to be remarkably active in the community, all while battling cancer in the last nine years of her life. She spent her last three years in Mooresville, living near her daughter and continuing to be active in her local church and as an artist in her new community. Throughout her professional and personal life, she shared her passion for music, art, literature, travel, conversation, and living well with her family, colleagues, and many friends.
Yvonne was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her two children, Jonathan Mayer Sobel (Kathryn) of Cary, N.C., and Rebekah Sobel Meier (David), of Mooresville; her four grandchildren, Joshua, Elizabeth, and Christopher Sobel of Cary, and Spencer Meier of Mooresville; her sister Marsha Betts Dowling of McRae, Ga.; and her former husband, Robert Edward Sobel of Hohenwald, Tenn.
The family of Yvonne Sobel offers deeply felt gratitude to the staff of Home Instead, Hospice Care of Cabarrus County, and Dr. Brigitte Miller of Levine Cancer Institute for their compassionate care.
The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, at 1 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 249 W. McLelland Avenue, Mooresville, N.C., with Rev. Eddie Hicks of First Baptist Church officiating. There will be a drive-by reception in her honor on Friday, November 27, 2020, from 1 to 3 p.m under the portico at First Baptist Church, North Augusta, S.C. Yvonne and her family would be honored by memorial donations to First Baptist Church, Mooresville, or to the arts organization of your choice.
Cavin-Cook Funeral Home & Crematory, Mooreville, is serving the family.