Cover photo for Betty Lockett's Obituary
Betty Lockett Profile Photo
1928 Betty 2021

Betty Lockett

July 18, 1928 — March 17, 2021

On Wednesday evening, March 17, 2021, Betty Hale Lockett of Atlanta passed away peacefully after a brief illness. Beloved and devoted wife of Donald (deceased) for 56 years, cherished mother of David (Rebecca) and Brian (Dayna), grandmother of Candace (Todd), Chad (Tabitha), Elizabeth and Eric, great grandmother to Sawyer, Ella, Shepherd and Clara.

Betty, an only child, was born July 18, 1928 in Rocky Mount, VA. She was the daughter of Norborne William Hale and Bessie Law Hale, who taught children of all ages in a one room schoolhouse. Betty or "BJ" as she was sometimes called, was an excellent student throughout life and attended George Washington-Lee HS in Arlington, VA. As a senior in the 1945-46 school year, Major Betty Jane Hale was presented a saber and scabbard by the Veterans of Foreign Wars for being the Outstanding Cadet in ROTC. After high school, Betty attended American University in Washington, DC where she was a member of the Phi Mu sorority.

Shortly after graduation, through a blind date, she met Donald Lockett, a graduate of Lafayette College in civil engineering who was stationed at Fort Belvoir. They married on June 6, 1952 in Arlington, VA. Over the next several years, the couple and their 2 young boys lived in New Jersey, Virginia and South Carolina before moving to Atlanta and buying a new home in 1960.

Loving gardening, she was active in the neighborhood garden club, a member of the American Begonia Society and was proud to receive "Yard of the Month" by the Oak Grove Civic Association. Both boys were active in Briarcliff Community Sports baseball and Betty volunteered to run the Women's Auxiliary.

Those of us that realize and then experience their "calling" are so blessed and Betty became one of those special people when she realized she wanted to teach children with learning disabilities. She enrolled at Georgia State University and earned a Master's degree in Special Education. This set her off on a career that would span the next 40 years as she first began tutoring students in her home. Her natural leadership skills led her to become president of the Georgia Association for Children with Learning Disabilities ("GACLD") and she later sat on the board of the ACLD, the national organization. A major achievement during this period is worthy of mention. Prior to 1968, no school system in Georgia was required to educate children with learning difficulties. Betty and others went to battle to make legislators aware of this issue and ended up getting a law passed that required public schools to educate children who didn't fit the profile of the "normal" or "average" student. In addition. the GACLD was instrumental in convincing legislators to pass a law requiring all teachers to take one course in educating special needs children.

In 1974, at the urging of her friend, Mary Ben McDorman, Betty agreed to start a school for older kids at The Howard School. That beginning has grown into a very successful high school program. Betty loved teaching so much that after she retired, she continued to substitute teach in the high school well into her late 70's. Her legacy will last forever at the school with a classroom named in her honor and an annual award given to an outstanding high school scholar.

This recap of Betty's life and accomplishments cannot begin to describe her love for her family and Irish Setters, her kindness and generosity, her character, her values and in particular, her legacy of service at The Howard School that changed the lives of so many students. In July 2018, all her family, Howard school dear friends and teachers gathered for a 90th year birthday celebration.

The family is grateful for the loving care provided by the 2nd floor North staff at A. G. Rhodes Wesley Woods.

Due to COVID-19 safety concerns, no visitation or memorial service is planned at this time. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Howard School in Betty's honor at the website at the bottom of this page under Memorial Contributions, which has a comment box to be used to dedicate your gift in her honor.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Lockett, please visit our flower store.


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