OBITUARY

Betty Louise Williford

May 11, 1933April 3, 2018
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Betty Williford passed away peacefully at her home on April 3, 2018. She was 84 years old. Betty was born in Oklahoma on May 11, 1933 to Oscar and Floris Williford. They moved to Georgia when she was very young and she has called Atlanta home ever since. She was a Bass High School girl, and despite their losing football record, she went to all the games and kept meticulous records of their losses. She graduated from Bass in 1951 as Valedictorian.

Following her love of children and music, Betty went to University of Tulsa and earned two bachelor’s degrees, one in Elementary Education and the other in Music Performance in organ. She began her teaching career in 1956 as a third-grade teacher in Oklahoma, but returned to Georgia in 1957 to teach music in Atlanta Public Schools until she retired in 1996. She never married, but she had hundreds of students, who were her children, over her 40-year career as an educator. She continued her own education with a Masters in Music Education, an Education Specialist degree and stopped a dissertation short of her PHD in education at UGA. She was a highly educated woman for her day and was a lifelong learner herself, which made her a great teacher.

The other love of Betty’s life was playing the organ. She held the position of organist/director/accompanist at several Atlanta churches over many years. The list includes, Hapeville Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Atlanta, Briarcliff Baptist Church, Peachtree Christian Church, Druid Hills United Methodist Church, Columbia Theological Seminary, Doraville Presbyterian Church, Shallowford Presbyterian Church, Candler Park Baptist Church, Hapeville Presbyterian Church, and her most recent church, College Park Presbyterian Church. She also traveled on organ tours to The Netherlands, West Germany, France, East Germany, Switzerland and attended the Organ Historical Society Conventions in Winston-Salem NC and Buffalo NY.

She was an active member, who held leadership positions in numerous professional organizations. The American Guild of Organists, Organ Historical Society, Choristers Guild, Georgia Music Educators Association, Georgia Association of Educators, Sigma Alpha Iota, and Delta Kappa Gamma. Her love of history compelled her to be the historian for many of these groups, and her love of people put her in charge of keeping track of the members addresses, scheduling meetings and keeping the calendars, editing newsletters, creating websites, and other such details.

As if all that wasn’t enough, Betty also volunteered to direct many choral groups, including Honor Chorus as well as children’s choirs at her numerous churches. She was also on the planning committee for Organ conventions. She was a woman who was on the go, fiercely independent and lived her life her way. She will be missed by many and loved by all. Her legacy of music and influence will be passed along to all who knew her.

Survivors include her sister and brother-in-law, Martha and Mike Hunter of Highlands NC; Nephew, Michael Hunter of Alexandria VA; Grandniece, Liane St. Clair and husband Ben of Atlanta, GA; Grandnephew, David and partner EJ of Orlando, FL; Grandniece, Kara Hunter of San Francisco, CA; Niece, Michelle Gunnin and husband Bill Gunnin of Cleveland, GA; Grandniece, Hannah Gunnin of Seattle, WA; Grandnephew, Aaron Gunnin of Tempe, AZ; Grandnephew, William Gunnin of Athens, GA; Grandnephew, Peter Gunnin of Cleveland, GA; Niece, Melinda Jenkins and husband Steve of Athens,GA; Grandniece, Sarah Clarke and husband Ryan of Seneca, SC; Grandnephew, James Jenkins of Athens, GA.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday April 7, 2018 at the Chapel of H.M.Patterson & Son at Spring Hill in Atlanta. The family will hold a visitation to receive friends and loved ones beginning at 1:00 pm and the Memorial Service will begin at 2:00 pm with Reverend Jonier Orozco presiding.

In Lieu of flowers, Betty would have preferred donations in her memory be sent to The Dream Project at College Park Presbyterian Church at collegeparkpc.co or to Urban Youth Harp Ensemble at urbanharp.org Both of these projects help kids in need to thrive.

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, April 7, 2018
  • Memorial Service Saturday, April 7, 2018
REMEMBERING

Betty Louise Williford

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Mary Stripling

April 4, 2018

Love and sympathy and prayers are wished for you during your loss of Betty Williford, such a talented musical artist and devoted sister and aunt. May you be comforted by memories of her attention, especially to your children and other children. - When many other memories are lost, musical notes echo through my mind - like the acts of a kind person echo through my heart. Thank God for Betty Williford.

John Brandt`

April 4, 2018

Betty was an amazing woman with seemingly boundless energy. Her concern for those around here was inspirational and greatly appreciated by those of us lucky enough to call her friend and colleague. She will be greatly missed, but her spirit lives on in all the lives she touched.

Heidi Hanz

April 3, 2018

My deepest sympathy to the family of Betty. It was my privilege to have Betty as a colleague and a friend. She was always willing to help however she could. I will miss her. Psalm 100:1 NIV - "Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs". Betty made that possible in so many situations.

E B

April 3, 2018

I would like to send my sincere condolences to Ms. Williford’s friends and family. I hope you can find some comfort from these scriptures (2Corinthians 1:3,4; Revelation 21:4,5).

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