When the Angels sing their Heavenly tunes, they will be accompanied by Betty Nalls on the organ….or the piano….or the accordion…..whatever Betty decides. And if the House of The Lord needs some repair work by her husband and master craftsman Buddy Nalls, he will be sure that Betty has arranged for all the materials, gotten all the permits and scheduled the work. Betty died in her own home on Steinway Street in Franconia, just as Buddy had done less than a year earlier. Of course, Betty had prearranged both funerals.
Both were from well-known Franconia families. Betty was popular for her outgoing spirit and personality that drew everyone to her. Buddy was a hard worker whose excellence is exhibited in many homes he either built or restored in the area. They are survived by three sons, Arthur, Jr., Cary and David, and eight grandchildren. Arthur, Jr., currently is in the real estate business in Washington, D.C., Cary runs Nalls Produce on Beulah Street across from his mom and dad’s home place, and David operates a produce business near Berryville, VA.
As a youngster, Betty was a dynamo who loved life to the fullest. Her parents owned Ward’s Corner, which had a restaurant, store, gas station, movie theatre and other businesses at Old Rolling Road and Franconia Road on land now occupies by three gas stations, a McDonalds, a skating rink and several businesses. She worked in the restaurant and the movie theatre, won many ribbons in local horse shows and later became an accomplished pianist and organist and studied interior decorating. The interest is music no doubt was fueled by the many country music performers who appeared at Ward’s Corner in the 1950s and 1960s. Names like Roy Clarke, Grampa Jones, Jimmy Dean and the Stoneman Family graced the stage at Ward’s.
Betty was a member of the Franconia Museum Board of Directors. She also was an active member of the Franconia Lunch Bunch, a group of long-time residents who meet monthly to share memories of their community. She attended a lunch shortly before her death. Betty help the Museum collect stories, articles and artifacts from Franconia over the years. The family has helped perpetuate her and Buddy’s memories by sponsoring Volume VII of Franconia Remembers, a collection of books about the area’s history. The latest issue is focused on the Franconia Volunteer Fire Department.