Bethany Avery RUTLEDGE

September 11, 1981August 3, 2019

Bethany packed a lot of life into her 37 years on earth. She was born in Knoxville, TN in 1981, but spent most of her formative years in Winter Haven, FL. Throughout her entire life, she excelled at anything she set her sights on. As a young girl, she was introduced to running by her father, Ron Avery. Their shared enjoyment of running would eventually blossom into a passion she had for endurance sports and a platform she used to impact countless lives. She also developed a love of reading and writing as a child, largely as a result of her mother’s (Kim Avery) encouragement. She would also eventually use her giftedness for words as a medium of massive benefit for others. As a teenager, she enjoyed playing multiple sports, was an outstanding student at Lake Region High School (class of 2000), was well-liked by her peers & adored by her family.

Bethany attended Samford University, graduating in 2004 with a B.A. in broadcast journalism. It was at the end of her time at Samford where she would be introduced to her future husband, John. John was initially drawn in by her million-watt smile that would light up any room she entered, but ultimately fell in love with her because of her kind heart, passion for life, shared Christian faith & courage to take bold action on things that she cared about. Bethany and John dated for 2 years, getting married on June 24th, 2006 in Lake Wales, FL.

As a wife, Bethany was the ultimate partner. She was selfless, encouraging, inspiring & loving. John and Bethany dreamed big and created their own unique, beautiful story. Bethany encouraged (dragged) John to attend an Atlanta Triathlon Club info session in January 2009 that would change the course of their lives. They both quickly developed a passion for the sport, but more so a connection with the great people in the endurance sports community. They would go on to race together all around the world, with Bethany completing more than a dozen Ironman triathlons, including the World Championship race in Kona, HI in 2012. The friendships she formed with people in ATC were among the best of her life.

Bethany and John expanded their links to the endurance world by opening up a cycling studio called Energy Lab, with partners Jim Boylan and Ted Morris and by assisting with the management of ATC with these same partners, along with Ron Teed and ultimately Tim Myers. Bethany loved teaching cycling classes with her friends in attendance, all pushing each other to achieve big goals.

Bethany also had a love for animals of all kinds. Her “first baby” was her Vizsla named Sadie she brought to the family in 2004. Sadie would be followed by her next pup, Bailey in 2007. Sadie and Bailey opened up Bethany’s heart and helped her develop a capacity for nurturing and loving as a mother she was quick to share she wasn’t sure she had. Her love of animals led to many fundraising events for animal-related charities, with many giving to Lifeline Animal Project in Atlanta, where she also served on the board.

John and Bethany decided they would try to start a family toward the end of 2016, but struggled to conceive. After multiple rounds of fertility treatments, Bethany became pregnant with her twin boys, Ethan and Alex in early 2018. The same day that Sadie passed away, the Rutledges received confirmation that their embryo transfers were absolute rollercoaster of emotions were shared on that day! Some complications of the pregnancy necessitated the early delivery of the boys on August 21, 2018 at just under 29 weeks. The nearly three months back and forth between home and the Piedmont Hospital NICU were a grind, but a tremendously bonding experience for Bethany and John. Bethany’s love of her family, especially her twin boys blossomed over the next year. She laid the foundation for “Team Rutledge” loving her boys and protecting them with everything she had.

Bethany’s legacy will live on through her family and she never be forgotten. She touched thousands of lives, using the platforms that God provided her to dream big, encourage others and inspire. As she looks down on us from heaven now, I’m convinced she wants us to do the same. Bethany, we love you tremendously and can’t wait to see you again.


  • Celebration of Life

    Friday, August 9, 2019


Bethany Avery RUTLEDGE

have a memory or condolence to add?

Saundra Williams

August 10, 2019

I did not know Bethany personally, but I did know her through the pictures from her mom Kim Avery. Kim Avery was my first coach. Her love for Christ drew me into Christian Coaching. I know that Bethany is walking on streets of gold. From the pictures shared online, I know that Bethany was a wonderful wife, mom, and daughter. We prayed for the twins and we will continue to pray for the family. God's love will continue to keep you in perfect peace. Love and blessings. Dr. Saundra Wall Williams, Raleigh, NC

Sheri Taylor Emery

August 10, 2019

Dear Rutledge family,
I never had the honor of meeting Bethany face to face. Like most of us in the Women's Fiction Writers Association our interaction was via online discussions. To say that our group was gutted by the news of her passing would be a gross understatement. She was loved and valued as a member and too many tears to count have been shed. I am one of the few members that live in the Atlanta area so I felt compelled to attend Bethany's memorial yesterday and represent our group. I posted an update to the WFWA website afterwards:

I feel blessed to have attended the celebration of life today for Bethany Rutledge. I never got to meet her IRL, and I can tell you without a doubt, that was my loss. Here's what I learned: She was a sugar-coated badass. She was a triathlete. In a go-to-Hawaii-and-compete-in-the-Ironman kind of way. She coached and mentored others to compete, caring more about their success than her own. She was never heard to say an unkind word about another person. Never. She was a cheerleader AND a pole vaulter in high school. Pole. Vaulter. She loved animals, especially her dogs, but clearly all animals since she would pick jellyfish off the beach and throw them back in the ocean so they wouldn't die. Jelly. Fish. She loved her family, her husband and her babies. She went to the NICU every day for three months until she could bring them home. She loved God. A young man with the voice of an angel played guitar today and sang "All is Well With My Soul." Though her loved ones are sunk below the surface with grief, their souls are well, because of the hope their faith gives them. That lady packed more goodness, light and life in her 37 years than I could ever hope to in my going-on 63.

Melody Parkhurst

August 9, 2019

I will never forget the goodness and love that Bethany brought into the world. One of my favorite memories was years back when we were at a lake house in north Georgia and we noticed a paralyzed squirrel trapped in a tree. Bethany and I worked for hours to help him get down. It wasn’t until our husbands arrived and they sweetly joined us in the rescue that we were able to get them down. We took him to an all night emergency vet where they promised to do all they could to get him rehabilitated and released. Bethany loved ALL creatures, great and small. She loved me so completely and even when we drifted apart, we would see each other and it was like no time has passed at all. As many have said, she never said an unkind word about anyone and was a source of endless encouragement. I absolutely HATE exercise but Bethany got both me and Cameron into a 5am CrossFit club?!?!? Only FOR Bethany! We lasted a few months before I had to let it go. But, she was always there to remind me that she would help me to TRi any time I was ready.

I have been quite sick and have been hospitalized over and over since last year. I hated that I had not met the boys. I followed every moment on Facebook and delighted in seeing her as a Mom. I messaged her on July 31 to let her know I was at MD Anderson and wanted to be sure we saw each other when I got back home. She immediately apologized for not being there for ME! I told her that the opposite was true! And, we exchanged “I love yous.” I am so glad we had that exchange. It is special moments like this, amid uncertainty and illness, that show how special the hand of God can be.

To Ethan and Alex: Your Mom shines like the sun. She will be the warmth on your shoulders, the word of encouragement whispered in your ear, the soft embrace when your heart is broken. She will be with you always because love is more powerful than anything and the ties between a Mom and child cannot be broken by any force. She lives on right inside your hearts.

Erica Breitenberg-Ensign

August 8, 2019

Dear Avery and Rutledge Families,

I fondly remember Bethany when she was a teenager at Cypress Ridge Church. She was beautiful, energetic, delightful, had a nice smile that definitely would light up a room, and was fun to be around. It was joyous to spend time with Bethany. We had fun during our time at youth camp (when I went as a camp counselor for the Cypress Ridge girls). Bethany was polite, respectful, and caring. We were prayer partners one year and that was very special. My heart goes out to your families as you grieve, and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I praise God for the hope we have through what Christ has done for us. Bethany was a remarkable woman.

Here is an old photo I found with Bethany at the youth camp.

Love and prayers,
Erica Breitenberg-Ensign


August 8, 2019

Dear Kim,
this morning The Holy Spirit reminded me the Bethany´s story from your Prayer Day 24.

Then these words have come to me from 2 Timothy 4:
"6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing."

Our God is faithful.

Our Father in Heaven, comfort heart of Kim, Ron, John, Ethan and Alex and the whole family. Renew our joy and help us to stay committed as Bethany was. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Leslie Newman

August 8, 2019

Dear Kim and Family,
My thoughts and prayers are with you today. May you experience God's deep and abiding love as you walk through these difficult days. I having been praying for the time you will spend together today in celebrating Bethany's life. My prayers will continue for you all and for the babies in these coming days.
With much love,
Leslie Newman,
(PCCI family)

Rosemary Hagen

August 8, 2019

Thank you for sharing all about Bethany. My daughter received the sorrowful news of Bethany’s passing while I was with her. Our Lord certainly used Bethany to touch His World as only He gifted her. Praying for peace and love to surround everyone now and for the years to come.

linda wohleber

August 8, 2019

Dear Ron and Kim,

We remember a shy smile, a quiet but determined spirit, a pretty little girl who was up for all kinds of fun and very much a part of our family. For just a few years in Destrehan, she and y’all made such a huge impact on us - and many of our sweetest memories were with you: hilarious trips to the beach, visits to the zoo, the art museum, trips to City Park and the health food store, our school co-op, and of course, all our time at Grace together. We did everything together for those few years, survived a flood and an evacuation - and Bethany was a happy and faithful little child through it all. When she wanted something from me, she always waited her turn, asked politely, and if the answer sometimes was a no, she toughed it out and didn’t make a big fuss about it. We spent hours and hours in our minivan with Bethany and Kim, talking theology in the front, playing ponies and a million other games in the back. She always followed the rules and kept her feet off the ceiling. We had a huge hole in our lives when you moved, and all of our kids missed her as I missed you.

It seems she stayed beautiful and determined as a young woman; the faith that we saw in that little girl matured and strengthened, by God's grace and by the nurturing of her faithful, committed parents.

We are all broken-hearted for you and her young family that you have lost her for what will seem like a very long time, and we pray for you all as you go through these deep waters, that you’ll hold tight to His hand; He only is our hope and our salvation.

In HIs Love,
Linda and Bob Wohleber

Bethann (Culberson) Schroeder

August 8, 2019

As family and friends mourn with you, may God allow us to be conduits of the comfort received from the Holy Spirit to help sustain you as you grieve and celebrate today and in days to come.

Lauren Fogarty

August 7, 2019

Bethany, I woke up this morning remembering those first couple of summers in the ATC when you and I would meet at Dallas Landing for an open water swim during your lunch break. You would pull up with your swimsuit on under your work clothes, we’d jump in the lake and knock out a couple thousand yards, then you’d jump right back into your work clothes and head back to work while drying your hair from the open window of your car. I remember thinking what a bold move that was, but I had no idea just how much grit and determination was hidden underneath that business suit. We will make sure your boys grow up knowing you, B.