Betty Winsett Richerson
(July 8, 1931 – March 15, 2017)
Betty embodied the spirit of a tiger, the poise of a swan, and the cunning of a trickster coyote. She was a fearsome advocate for things she championed and a soft and gentle supporter of the things she felt needed protecting. We know that spirit is not gone. Her rebellious attitude toward life (cleverly disguised in gentile Texas southern lady manners) is being carried on by her three kids, Steve, Phil and Ginny, her 6 grandkids, 3 step grandkids, 2 daughters in-law, a sprinkling of very close friends, and the many kids she loved, tutored, taught, housed, or just was just simply “there for”. We were blessed to learn many lessons from Betty during her 85 years, among them: when grieving, laughing until you pee is perfectly acceptable; allowing your kids to keep a drama class coffin for Halloween in your garage for years and years is perfectly normal; continuing to buy beautiful dresses that you are almost too blind to see makes sense; you can suddenly lose your husband, your mom and your dad (in less than two years) and somehow find the strength to get out of bed each and every morning; meticulously copying the bathroom wall “bad words” down on a piece of paper for your husband to decipher is helpful; being the last chance defender against a High School Administration that didn’t “appreciate” your students because they “brought down the grade curve” was a noble endeavor; allow every neighborhood “stray” cat into your home makes sense because “they needed a home and I have one”; little machines with the apple on them can really help her kids learn; putting the paper gown on your head in the exam room and asking the doctor “is this how it goes on?” can be hilarious; befriending a (20 year your junior) hippy chick to study special education at the local University can blossom into an amazing lifelong friendship; being ferociously, passionately, protective of what you love is a good thing, and much more. Betty is currently reunited with Wilbur Ausphera “Bo” Richerson, the only man (other than her dad) she ever really loved. She called him “the most obnoxious man I’ve ever met” after their first meeting. He suddenly left her side in 1977. Betty, with three kids to care for, continued on the fight. She no longer needs to fight. She’ll be buried by his side in Richerson Cemetery in Stockton, Alabama Wednesday, March 22 at 11am. It’s in South Alabama, a place he was from and she dearly loved. It has tall pines and sandy soil. She liked that. Betty requested a small grave-side ceremony, nothing fancy. But there will be beautiful pink flowers. There will be a Memorial Service at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church at 6:30pm on Thursday, March 23. The church is at 2422 Darby Dr, Florence, AL 35630. She requested an uplifting and maybe even fun memorial. Bring your remembrances or stories or just come to witness the passing of a generous and kind person. Instead of flowers, please donate to CASA of the Shoals – (Court Appointed Special Advocates). CASA advocates for kids that have been abandoned or abused in northwest Alabama. www.uwnwal.org This will allow matching funds to make it to CASA as well. In the NOTES section – write the following: “Designate 100% to CASA in the name of Betty Richerson”.
Berryhill Funeral Home assisted the family.