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Ms. Betty S. Rinehart

Betty S. Rinehart passed away peacefully November 18, 2022. Born on December 21, 1935, in Cherokee County, Alabama, Betty’s life was a love story even from the beginning. She was the cherished youngest and 8th child of Grace Preskitt Smith and Charles Richard Smith.

Betty Jean met Joe Frank Rinehart when they were both in the fifth grade. Since Jody was new to school, the teacher put him in the middle of the class which was right by Betty. By their junior year at Cedar Bluff High School, she and Joe Frank were dating. He asked her if she would marry a farmer and she answered, “I would marry you.”

They headed to Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL where Betty was elected to student council. She was also selected as class beauty three times and as “Gem of the Hills.” She graduated with a teaching degree. During her senior year, she and Joe Frank were finally married.

They were blessed with three children.

Betty worked as an educator for forty years: two in Alabama and 38 in Georgia. Her first teaching assignment in Georgia was in a small school in Marshallville where two teachers taught eight grades. Later, she taught at Fort Valley Elementary School.

She received her master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from Fort Valley State University. She was the first white person to receive a graduate degree from the HBCU.

Betty very much enjoyed working with the students and other teachers at the Fort Valley Middle School. She enjoyed mentoring young teachers. Over the years, she had influence over countless students.

Betty enjoyed gardening, even building her own brick wall beside her garden. She enjoyed redecorating as well as remodeling her homes. Most of all she enjoyed being with her family. She was willing to help any of the members of her immediate or extended family in any way she could whether if meant moving furniture, painting walls, or dog sitting, Betty was there doing all she could to help.

Betty was a member of Fort Valley United Methodist Church where she served as Trustee for several years.

She enjoyed attending Indian Springs Holiness Camp Meeting where she especially liked the morning Bible study each summer. Her motivation for becoming a cottage owner was to have a cottage available at the camp so that her grandchildren could come each year and participate in Camp Meeting if they wished.

After living many happy years in Fort Valley, GA, Betty and Joe moved back home to live on Weiss Lake in Centre, Alabama.

Left to cherish many happy memories is her husband of 66 years, their children: Joe Rinehart (Karen), Anna R. White (Chan),

John Rinehart (Angela), four grandchildren: Mary White Kalmeijer (Arno), Sarah White Smith (Jeff), Chandler White, Parker Rinehart. One sister-in-law Blanche Smith, and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at Perry Funeral Home, 1611 East Bypass, Centre, AL 35690 On Friday, November 25, 2022.

Visitation will be at 10:00 AM with funeral following at 11:00.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ebenezer United Methodist Church, Community Room Building Fund, 11794 County Road 22, Centre, AL 35960.

Or donations may be made to Indian Springs Holiness Campground, C/O Kevin Thompson, PO Box 1742, Mableton, GA 30126.

 

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