|Birth: ||Jul. 27, 1938|
|Death: ||Feb. 3, 2009|
North Carolina, USA
Betty Sue Armstrong was born July 27, 1938, in Shawnee, Oklahoma, to the late John S. and Millie Moyers McBride and lived
in Oklahoma for over 40 years. Betty has three siblings, Flora McBride of Oklahoma City; JoAnn Buhr of Port Ludlow, Washington;
and Jack McBride of Denver, Colorado. Betty graduated from Northeast High School in Oklahoma City in 1956. She went to the
University of Oklahoma for a couple of years, then moved to Ohio to work for about two years. Betty got married in 1960 to Merlin
Miller Armstrong. They had three children: Jay Leslie and Jack Lillard who were born Feb. 17, 1962. Jay died shortly after birth.
Jack died at the age of 25 with heart complications, while staying with Betty in North Carolina. Terri Kay was born Jan. 3, 1963.
Terri Armstrong lives in Tupelo, Mississippi, with her two children, Millie Sue Pridmore (born May 13, 1991) and George Armstrong
Pridmore (born May 24, 1995). Millie and George are Betty's only grandchildren and she enjoyed them so much and spent as
much time with them as she was able. Her love for children was shown best as she loved and played with Millie and George these past 17 years. She never shied away from games, cards, singing, dancing, and being silly with her grandchildren. Their lives are forever touched by their
Betty raised her children at McFarlin United Methodist Church in Norman, Oklahoma. She worked at McFarlin UMC as a teacher in the preschool program.
Later she became the Director of the McFarlin Day Care Center.
Betty went back to college and received her B.A. degree from Oklahoma City University. She then pursued further education by completing certifi cation studies
in Christian Education from Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Texas. She also completed the Foundational Studies of the UMC at Oklahoma City University
School of Religion. In 1982 Betty was consecrated as a UMC Diaconal Minister in the Oklahoma United Methodist Conference. Betty moved to Oklahoma City,
Oklahoma to be the director of St. Luke's UMC Day Care program. She later became their Children's Minister.
In 1985, Betty accepted the opportunity to serve at Centenary UMC in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She fell in love with North Carolina and the many
wonderful friends there who became her family. In 1997, Betty was ordained the fi rst full connection deacon, and also the fi rst woman full connection deacon,
of the Western North Carolina Conference, The United Methodist Church. At her ordination, her daughter, Rev. Terri Armstrong (elder in the Mississippi UMC
conference) laid hands on her along with Dr. Lee Dukes and Bishop Charlene Kammerer. In 2000, she completed training for spiritual direction at the Shalem
Institute in Washington, D.C.
Betty's ministry at Centenary UMC as the Children's Minister was creative, challenging, and joyful in so many ways. Her long tenure at this one church blessed
her by seeing so many children grow up in the arms of the church. She nurtured children and parents, encouraging them to live into God's promises for each one
of their lives. Betty's ministry later moved into Missions and Outreach, which gave her opportunity to lead others on mission trips to Montana, Alaska, and other
places. Her mission and outreach ministry also extended into the city where she met people in need each week at the community center.
During Betty's ministry in North Carolina, she was active on the district and conference level in many areas. She served on the Board of Ordained Ministry
and was the fi rst chair for the Order of Deacons. Betty spent many years as a member on the conference Children's Ministry Council. She was on the Weekday
Childcare Ministries Committee; she was the Registrar for the Board of Diaconal Ministry and served as a mentor for diaconal ministers. She was instrumental
in providing training and delivery of Older Elementary Human Sexuality workshops throughout the conference. Betty was active in the Christian Educators
Fellowship for many years. Betty was a ‘Born Free, Stay Free' Drug Prevention instructor. Within the church community, the annual conference, the Christian
Educators and ordained Deacons, Betty found many friends and supporters that prayed for her, encouraged her, laughed and cried with her. Betty retired from
Centenary UMC in December of 2003. At that time she began working part-time at the Centenary UMC Book Store.
Betty was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February 2008. She courageously lived with this disease for the next year, never giving up, but fi nding each
day as an opportunity to make a difference in someone's life. She wanted each and every friend to know how much they had touched her and she thanked God
for relationships, joy, laughter, and love. Betty believed the time she had after her diagnosis was prolonged because of the prayers and loving care of so many
wonderful friends and family, both near and far. Betty remained at her home the last month of her life, with the help of Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Care (KBR)
coming to her home. The last few days she went to the KBR Center for attentive nursing care, where her daughter, Terri, and sister, Joan, could be by her side.
Betty went to her heavenly home on Tuesday morning, Feb. 3, 2009.
A beautiful memorial service was held at Centenary United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with Dr. Bob Nations and Dr. Lee Dukes
offi ciating. Her committal at the Centenary UMC Columbarium was also led by Rev. Dale Wood and Rev. Bob Carlisle, dear friends she knew from Oklahoma.
Another touching memorial service was held in Oklahoma City at Mayfair Heights United Methodist Church, with Rev. Bob Younts offi ciating.
Found among her collection of thoughts during her last days were words from Thomas Kelly: Walk and talk and work and laugh with your friends. But behind
the scenes, keep up the life of simple prayer and inward worship. Keep it up throughout the day. Let inward prayer be your last act before you fall asleep and the
fi rst act when you awake. If a good life is measured by friends, I have no doubt Betty's life was great. Her signature mark was babies, balloons, butterfl ies, and
rainbows – all signs of God's hope, promises of life, and new beginnings. Thanks be to God for Betty Sue Armstrong!
Terri K. Armstrong
Source: The 2009 Journal of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, Charlotte, NC 2009, page 310
Centenary United Methodist Church Columbarium
North Carolina, USA
Created by: Robert C. Peurifoy
Record added: Mar 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 49344264