When a stroke left Bettie temporarily unable to speak, the enduring support of her family and friends enabled her to emerge from that dark time with her glowing self confidence and optimism intact. “If you’ve got all those people caring for you, you must be worth something,” she said. “I’m lucky to be alive and well. I’m lucky to have my daughter, my friends, my godkids, and my cousins.”
A transplant from Salem, Alabama, Bettie remains a gracious and lively Southern belle at heart. She loves a good story, whether it’s one of the romance novels she regularly devours, a snippet of Boston history, or a memory of the Roxbury neighborhood where she grew up. “My father ran a restaurant on Tremont Street,” she said, noting that it was a popular hangout for African American athletes.
Bettie served her community as a school investigator and a Roxbury Children’s Services representative. Retirement has provided her with the opportunity to discover her creative talents and add beauty to the world. She loves painting and crafts and recently participated in a rolled paper project, an innovative recycling method that turns junk mail, old magazines, and other paper trash into striking works of art.
After being at the Upham’s Elder Service Plan in Dorchester for several years, Bettie extols the benefits of being in the program. “I really value my close relationship with my social worker, Dale,” said Bettie, “and the excellent care my doctor provides.”