SHEPHERDSTOWN – Town favorite Betty’s Restaurant is open again, but no one’s forgotten about Heather Renaud, the friendly, thoughtful co-owner of the business.
Renaud passed away unexpectedly June 30, just weeks after her 43rd birthday. Smiling and friendly, she’d been a fixture at Betty’s since 2001 when she and her mother Regina Wines purchased the German Street eatery.
Krystal Fallin, who has worked at Betty’s off and on for eight years, called the atmosphere “definitely different” these days. “It never will be the same without Heather,” she said.
To demonstrate the level of grief expressed by the community, Fallin points out photographs, posters and signs that adorn part of a wall, a table by the door and the front window of the restaurant.
Renaud, a married mother of two, would want to see Betty’s open and thriving, Fallin stressed.
Jan Hafer, director of the Shepherdstown Visitors Center, said Renaud’s death has left a hole in the community. “Heather would orchestrate the ‘good times’ feel of the place,” Hafer said.
Kristin Stover, a student at Shepherd University, agreed. “Heather made you feel like you were sitting at a table at your home and that your mom was serving you a family meal,” Stover explained. “She made students, business people, professors – everyone – feel like they belonged.”
Renaud’s family, friends and co-workers have set up a memorial fund to provide for a university education for her daughter Kara Russell and son Cameron Renaud.
Fallin said customers continue to drop off donations. “Many have given time after time,” she said Anyone interested in making a contribution can visit Betty’s Restaurant, mail a check to Jefferson Security Bank, P.O. Box 35, Shepherdstown 25443 or call bank administrator Dennis Barron at 304-876-9000.