Betty Irene Burton


Southampton native Betty Irene Burton of Greensboro, North Carolina, died on October 8 at her home in Greensboro after a lengthy illness. She was 76.

Born in Southampton on January 24, 1932, to Alma Pelham Thomas and Garland Lee Thomas, she attended Southampton Public Schools and graduated in 1950. In 1954 she received a bachelor’s degree in education from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and in 1957 earned a master’s degree in elementary education from the Teachers’ College at Columbia University.

She later received a diploma in supervision and administration from the Teachers’ College in 1968. Elected to the honor society for the National Education Association, Kappa Delta Pi, she was also member of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Association of Childhood Education International.

According to survivors, “Miss Betty,” as she was known by all her friends, had a special love for children and their educational development and will be remembered for her kind heart and strong convictions.

She taught in the Elmont public schools where she became supervisor of elementary education. Upon retirement, she and her husband, James D. Burton relocated to Greensboro, North Carolina, where they immediately became involved in numerous social and civic activities.

Predeceased by her husband in 2004, she is survived by two sisters, Sarah Thomas of Southampton, and Mary Ann and her husband William Hart of Florida; a brother, Elder Alvin Thomas of Virginia; two nieces and their husbands, Tanya and Reggie Pinder and Michelle and Tom Cartagena; three great-nephews, Reggie, Reid and Christopher; and a great-niece, Elyssa.

In addition, she is survived by friends, Koretta King, Carol Moffitt and Angela King, all of North Carolina—whom the family credits for providing loving care during her illness; a special friend, Elizabeth Brookshire, also of North Carolina; and a host of other relatives and friends.

The family held a private funeral service on October 14 in Greensboro.

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