Woman Leaves Behind Larger than Life Legacy in Shepherdstown

- SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Heather Renaud, co-owner of Betty's Restaurant in Shepherdstown, died suddenly on June 30, 2014. 

A week has passed and the community is rallying around her family and co-workers, and they're remembering Heather the way she was, one of a kind.

She wasn't Betty, but Heather's laugh and jokes filled Betty's Restaurant.

"God blessed her with a personality that, as far as people skills, she was just right at the top, right at the top, over the top," said Heather's mom, Regina Wines.

Since Heather's sudden passing, the walls of the restaurant are now filled with memories and pictures. And the trees lining German Street are tied with pink and purple ribbons.

Heather and Regina were best friends, and co-owned Betty's. They bought it back in 2001.

And while Heather is no longer around to greet customers, her mother still feels her presence.

"There was a huge rainbow, and it was real bright. The first one was. And then the second one was a little bit lighter behind it, but it was a double rainbow. And I told my husband, I said, well, that's heather, she's letting me know that she's there and she's in god's hands and she's okay," Regina said.

Regina said complications from adrenal deficiency and food poisoning contributed to her death, although an autopsy has yet to confirm the official cause.

Heather might be gone physically, but her memory and the love for her customers still fills Betty's Restaurant. And long time customers will remember her vibrant, larger-than-life personality, along with her joking ways.

"Heather was one of those people who was lucky enough to really find something she excelled at. She was really a people-person," said Nick Blanton, regular Betty's customer.

"It's a lot of fun, Regina and Heather are great. It's like family," said Ernest Fuss, another Betty's regular.

Regina says she'll keep Betty's Restaurant going in memory of Heather. And she says she knows Heather's in a better place, and that the firecracker Heather was, is now, exploding in the heavens.

"A 4th of July party or something. [She needed to get the fireworks going..] That she did, because that she could do, real good," Regina laughed.

Heather left behind a husband, David, and two children, Kara and Cameron. She also left two brothers, Donnie and Shawn Russell.
Members of the community are working to set up a memorial fund in her name through Jefferson Security Bank. That fund will help her two children go to school.

If you're interested in donating to Heather's Memorial Fund, call Dennis Barron with Jefferson Security Bank at 304-876-9000.

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