Welcome to the memorial page for

Bette Harding Burruss

October 9, 1942 ~ August 27, 2018 (age 75)


Bette Harding Burruss, quietly passed away at her home in Punta Gorda, Florida on August 27, 2018,  surrounded by family and friends. She was born October 9, 1942, in Marion, Va.,  the second daughter of Marie and Samuel Harding Jr. She grew up in Johnson City, Tn. with her siblings and many cousins living there. Upon graduation from Science Hill High School, Bette completed her college education at Emory & Henry College in Va. and entered her career in elementary education, teaching in both Virginia and Texas. She earned a master’s degree from Virginia State and later went on to obtain her doctorate from the University of Virginia. After teaching at the primary level for several years, Bette was promoted to assistant principal of Hopewell Elementary School in Va. and was soon thereafter named principal of Rawls Bird Middle School in Williamsburg, Va. Her career next took her to Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Rockville Center, Long Island, N.Y. followed by her appointment as Director of Excellence in Education at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Ky. During her career in primary education  Bette studied abroad at Oxford University in London and published papers and books on childhood education and development, one of which now archived in the Unites States Library of Congress.

Following her educational and  management career Bette joined her husband Bill Gary to become V.P, Resort Services, of Green Turtle Bay Resort in Grand Rivers, Ky., a position she held until her retirement. Bette is survived by her husband of 25 years William E. Gary, III; one son, Thomas R. Burruss of Ocracoke, N.C.; two step children, Vida D. Gary and Bill Gary, 4th, both of Grand Rivers, Ky; two sisters, Marie “Toni” DeBord of Knoxville, Tn. and Barbara Ferrari of Lynchburg, Va; two brothers, Samuel Harding, III of Knoxville, Tn. and Gordon Ferrari of Annapolis, Md. as well as several grandchildren and nephews.

Bette will long be remembered for the love, friendship and leadership which she shared with all of those whose lives she touched and who were blessed to know her.

Services will be held at the non-denominational outdoor chapel at Green Turtle Bay Resort in Grand Rivers, Ky. at 4:00 PM CDT, on Thursday afternoon, September 6th, 2018, to be followed by a “Celebration of the Life of Bette H. Burruss” at the adjoining Resort Conference Center. Burial services will be held for immediate family members in Dixon Cemetery, Grand Rivers, KY. on Friday. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Bette c/o Green Turtle Bay Resort, 263 Green Turtle Bay Drive, Grand Rivers, KY 42045 or via donation to her favorite charity Helping Hands of Livingston County, 509 Mill Street, Smithland, KY, 42085.

Charitable donations may be made to:

Helping Hands of Livingston County
509 Mill Street, Smithland KY 42085

 Service Information

A service summary is not available

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