Betty Jo <I>Bunch</I> Bagwell

Betty Jo Bunch Bagwell

Birth
Broken Bow, McCurtain County, Oklahoma, USA
Death 18 Jun 2015 (aged 91)
Idabel, McCurtain County, Oklahoma, USA
Burial Idabel, McCurtain County, Oklahoma, USA
Memorial ID 148008054 · View Source
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Betty Jo Bunch Bagwell, 91, passed away on June 18, 2015 at home in Idabel, Oklahoma. She was born March 30, 1924 in Broken Bow, Oklahoma to Abram and Pearl Bunch.

She moved to Clebit when she was ten. When World War II broke out in 1941, she had not yet graduated from high school. She joined the school in Clebit and Pickens as the teacher the following year with no higher education. It was a testimony to her love of education that she completed both her Bachelors degree and her Masters degree in Durant, Oklahoma over eleven summers, having never attended a traditional semester program.

She taught forty-one years in the Clebit, Wright City and Idabel school districts, completing her career as principal of Southeast Elementary. Throughout her long and impressive career, she led and participated in the development of many leading edge educational programs, including co-author of the nationally sold Phonics in a Nutshell and co- sponsor of the first early childhood education program in McCurtain County. While she was an innovator in her field, her passion was always for her students. And she continued to follow her students many years after they left her care. She was always there.

Betty Bagwell received multiple awards, including McCurtain County Teacher of the Year in 1977, the "Torch Award" for community service, the "Hats Off Award" from the Idabel Chamber of Commerce and Woman of the Year for 1977 from the Business and Professional Women's Club. She also served as president of the McCurtain County Retired Educators Association from 1991-92. Betty was a long-time faithful member of the First Baptist Church in Idabel.

She was preceded in death by her parents, a brother, William Benjamin, a sister, Willa Johnson, her husband and father of her son, David Preston Balisle, Jr. , her husband Tom Bagwell and two granddaughters, Brittiny Jo Balisle and Tamara Jo Balisle.

Betty leaves to cherish her memory her son, Vice Admiral (ret) Phil Balisle, his wife, Patricia, grandchildren Jennifer Jo Balisle and Jeffrey Michael Balisle, and his wife, Christy. In addition she was loved by her great granddaughter, Eve Elizabeth Balisle. All reside in Falls Church, Virginia.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2:00 pm on Sunday, June 21, 2015 at the White Family Chapel with Rev. Miles Wesner officiating. A private interment will follow at the Dennison Cemetery in Idabel, Oklahoma.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: JEF
  • Added: 18 Jun 2015
  • Find A Grave Memorial 148008054
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Betty Jo Bunch Bagwell (30 Mar 1924–18 Jun 2015), Find A Grave Memorial no. 148008054, citing Denison Cemetery, Idabel, McCurtain County, Oklahoma, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .