2022 Journeys Magazine

In Memory

Skyland Trail expresses our appreciation for three individuals who passed away within the last year, Betty Ann Inman, Beth Jones, and Wendy Tarson. All three women contributed to the growth and success of Skyland Trail. They will be missed.

Betty Ann Inman

Betty Ann Inman
Betty Ann Inman

Betty Ann Inman passed away on March 29th, 2022. She and her late husband, Hugh McDonald Inman, were fixtures in the Atlanta philanthropic community and supported many Atlanta organizations including The Woodruff Arts Center, The Atlanta History Center, Piedmont Hospital, The Shepherd Center, Pace Academy, and Skyland Trail.

Ms. Inman joined the Skyland Trail Advisory Board in 2001 and the Board of Directors in 2005. She served on the Board until 2011 when she completed her term and was elected to the Emeritus Board.

During her Board service, she was a volunteer on the Financial Aid Committee. In that role, she was a dedicated steward of Skyland Trail's Mark C. West Financial Aid Program and helped remove financial barriers to mental health treatment for many clients and families. She also served as honorary chair of Benefits of Laughter.

As a member of The Cypress Society, a planned gift from Ms. Inman's estate will continue to help clients on their journeys to wellness for many years to come.

Beth Jones

Beth Finnerty and Beth Jones
Beth Finnerty and Beth Jones

The life of Beth Jones is entwined with the history of Skyland Trail. She was an ardent supporter of mental health causes and understood the importance of advancing the mission of Skyland Trail in the Atlanta community. She passed away on December 28, 2022.

Beth Jones was elected to the Board of Directors in 1995. After completing 15 years of Board service in 2010, she was elected to the Emeritus Board 2011.

She was the volunteer chair of the very first Benefits of Laughter in 1998. The event became the annual signature fundraising event for Skyland Trail and, after 25 years, has raised nearly $16.5 million to support financial aid awards for clients in need of mental health treatment.

Ms. Jones also was a founding member of the Skyland Trail Associates, a group of women volunteers who help advance our mission. Since its founding in 2003, the auxiliary group has become an important part of the Skyland Trail community.

"Beth was 'all in," says Beth Finnerty, Skyland Trail president and CEO. "She was a founding member of the Associates, a member of several Board committees, a Cypress Society member, an event chair several times, a friend-raiser extraordinaire, and along with her children and grandchildren, a spaghetti chef and Bingo-master for our clients on Sunday afternoons! She will be missed by all of us in the Skyland Trail community."

Wendy Tarson

Wendy Tarson

Wendy Tarson was a devoted Skyland Trail volunteer for more than a decade. She passed away on June 9, 2022.

Prior to moving to Atlanta, Ms. Tarson had experience working in the "enabling garden" at the Chicago Botanical Garden. When she and her husband, Ron, moved to Atlanta,  she joined the Druid Hills Garden Club. After visiting Skyland Trail with the garden club, she began volunteering in the horticultural therapy program.

She supported horticultural therapy groups weekly, helping clients learn how to use nature as a resource in their recovery journeys.  And she help design gardens and bring beauty across Skyland Trail's adult campuses. As part the 'Nature as Healer' group, Wendy helped build the shade paths, the Garden of Grace and the Metamorphosis Gardens. In 2016, as the Rollins Campus was taking shape, she helped create the flower gardens that lead up to the campus and surround the Mark Wynne Courtyard.


"We were the fortunate ones," says Libba Shortridge, retired Skyland Horticultural Therapist. "Wendy was passionately dedicated, encouraging her garden club to support the projects she witnessed over the decade of her volunteerism.  Wendy was my 'right hand woman' in therapeutic groups (and, as we used to joke, my left brain). She was so often behind the scenes that the only photographs I have are not of Wendy, but rather of the projects we created together with the clients. Wendy will forever be Skyland's Gardening Angel!"

DID YOU KNOW?  Skyland Trail was founded by families seeking to help other families in need of community-based mental health treatment. Learn more about our history.