Mrs. Bettye Van Powell Childs, age 89, of Statesboro, Georgia, passed into eternal rest at Ogeechee Area Hospice on March 13, 2019. Bettye was born on August 7, 1929 in Sylvester, Georgia where she was raised.
She graduated from Sylvester High School and earned a teaching certificate at Georgia Southwestern College at Americus prior to joining the Worth County School Faculty in 1948. She married her late husband, Burton Brown Childs, Jr. on November 14, 1948. The couple later settled in Statesboro in 1956, where they raised their five children: Rex, Tommy, Brownie, Randy and Mark. Bettye was a devoted wife, mother and always a caregiver. She was tirelessly gracious and giving. While raising five children, she also cared for many foster children, including those needing emergency placement. The doors at her home were always open and she touched many lives.
She was a fervent advocate of education and public service. In 1957, she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Education at Georgia Teachers College. She returned to school and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in 1974, leading her into a dedicated career as a parole officer at the Bulloch County Probation and Parole Office, as well as the Child Support Recovery Unit covering many counties, including Bulloch, Emanuel, and Lowndes Counties. In 1980, Bettye moved to Albany, Georgia, where she continued her career as a parole officer for over 10 years until her retirement.
In 2000, Bettye returned to Statesboro, Georgia, where she spent every day caring for her late husband, Brown Childs until his death in 2002. Following a decline in her own health, Bettye moved to Willow Pond Assisted Living in 2006, where she became Willow Pond’s longest resident, residing in the home for over 12 years. Bettye never met a stranger and became known as the ‘welcoming committee’ at Willow Pond. She befriended every new resident, easing their fears and anxiety as they transitioned into a new and unfamiliar environment.
She was a faithful member of First Baptist Church and the Seekers Sunday School Class. She enjoyed many hobbies throughout the years, from gardening fruit and flowers, needlepoint, cards and fishing to traveling the United States, coast to coast.
Bettye Childs is preceded in death by her husband, Brown Childs; her parents, George Luther Powell and Ada Sutton Powell; and granddaughter, Kelley Robyn Sweat.
She is survived by Rex Childs, Tommy Childs, Brownie Childs, Randy Childs and Mark Childs; four daughters in law, Joan Childs, Deadra Childs and Judy Childs, and a son in law, John Bryant; as well as 15 grandchildren, Kim Childs, Stephanie Childs, Brandon Childs, Katie Dove, Summer Clark, Amanda Smith, Jenna Bray, Kristy Davies, Kacie Sweat, Kandace Sweat, Davis Childs, Thomas Childs, Morgan Childs, Christa Childs and Josh Childs; and 22 great grandchildren.
The family expresses a special thanks to Bettye’s caregivers, including Margaret Brannen, Cheryl Blackmon and Phyllis Jackson, and all the others, including the staff at Willow Pond Assisted Living and Ogeechee Area Hospice.
Family and friends will gather at the Joiner Anderson Funeral home for visitation on March 16, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. The funeral services will follow in the Joiner Anderson Chapel at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Terry Jackson officiating. Interment will take place at Eastside Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be James Montgomery, Mark Powell, Mike Fowler, Bubba Fowler, Brandon Childs and Johnny Cobb.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Ogeechee Area Hospice facility P.O. Box 531, Statesboro, GA 30459. Donations may be made online at https://oahospice.org.
Friends may sign the online register book at www.joineranderson.com.
Joiner Anderson Funeral Home & Crematory of Statesboro is in charge of the arrangements.