The Savannah Tribune Remembers Bettye Anne Battiste

Bettye Anne Battiste
Bettye Anne Battiste

Bettye Anne Battiste, 64, educator, community servant, and author transitioned from this life on July 13. She lived a rich and spontaneous life that typified a penchant for learning, teaching, family and friends.

She was born to William and Lillian Battiste on July 28, 1947 and was preceded in death by her mother. Her formal education was in the Savannah- Chatham County Public Schools, which culminated as a top-ten graduate from Sol C. Johnson High School in 1965, where she was a student council and yearbook enthusiast. Bettye Anne graduated from Savannah State University in 1969 with a BS degree in Biology. She received a full fellowship to the State University at Brockport, New York in 1971, where she received her Masters in Urban Education and finished Summa Cum Laude. Bettye Anne continued her postgraduate studies at the University of Florida where she earned a doctorate in Early Childhood Education.

Dr. Battiste taught students from primary school through college levels. Her professional career began in Brockport, New York where she was the director of the State University of Brockport Childcare Program and later taught first grade at Public School 27 in Rochester, New York. She directed a Head Start program in Houston, Texas, impacting the lives of hundreds of inner-city school children. Returning to Savannah, she worked as an administrator at SSU and later began a career at Armstrong State Atlantic University from which she retired in 2007 as professor and department head of Early Childhood Education. During her tenure at AASU, Dr. Battiste took a sabbatical from 1998-2002 and served as Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools with the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System.

A member of St. Phillip A.M.E., Dr. Battiste faithfully served on the Celestine Guild. Other memberships included: Leadership Savannah; Leadership Georgia; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; National Council of Negro Women; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Savannah State University National Alumni; Sol C. Johnson National Alumni, and the Mandingo Socio-Civic Club.

In 1984, she was elected to the Savannah-Chatham County Public School Board. She served nine years, representing the 2nd district and enjoyed a short tenure as School Board President. Dr. Battiste was a prolific writer. Along with professional articles and extensive research, she published Cycles of Unfinished Business, a novel that highlighted Black middle-class life in Savannah. Two other works and countless journals remained unpublished at the time of her death.

Bettye Anne enjoyed journaling, cooking, traveling, reading, and golfing. She was devoted to her family and friends. It was not unusual for her to surprise one of them with a wrapped gift from one of her adventures, an excerpt of something she had read or written, or a blooming orchid or floral bouquet. Her quick wit and unmatched, whimsical expressions rendered audiences speechless, peeling with laughter, or simply reflecting.

She leaves to mourn: Theron “Ike” Carter, her devoted husband of 24 years; her father, William Battiste, Jr.; a sister, Antoinette Battiste; nephews Marlin Heyward (Tamaira) of St. Petersburg, FL, and Quentin Heyward of Philadelphia, PA; grand niece and nephew Sydney and Brandon Heyward of St. Petersburg; Charles Heyward (brotherin law), and many other relatives. Also grieving are numerous friends, professional associates, members of St. Phillip Monumental, sisters of Delta Sigma Theta, and the Sol C. Johnson class of 1965.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority , Inc. will conduct an Omega Omega Service on Wednesday, July 18 at Adams Funeral Home at 7:00 PM. Memorial service will be held on Thursday, July 19, 11:00 AM at St Phillip AME, MLK Blvd, Reverend Scottie Swinney officiating. Please convey your thoughts and remembrances of Bettye Anne on our website: AdamsFuneralServicesInc.c om.

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