Betty Jo McCarty- Roberts

Betty Jo McCarty-Roberts, 72, became a guardian angel on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in Panama City, Florida, surrounded by her family. She was born in Winnfield, Louisiana on December 29, 1943, and grew up in both Sikes and Winnfield. She played basketball for Winnfield High School where she was known for her right-hook shot, and valued the friendships she gained there throughout her lifetime. Jo, as she was affectionately known by family and friends, earned her Bachelors of Science at Angelo State University, her Masters of Education at McNeese State University, and then her Doctor of Education at Oklahoma State University. She valued education stating if she could, she would make a career of being a full-time student. She was a resident of Panama City, Florida for over 25 years, having retired from Florida State University in 2004, where she was a professor of Elementary Education. She loved to teach and genuinely cared about her colleagues and students. Her love of gardening prompted her to stop frequently at stranger’s homes to inquire as to what kind of flower that was in their yard. Her other interests included writing, poetry, and genealogy. She was preceded in death by her husband, Gene Roberts; by her parents, Cecil and Mottice McCarty of Winnfield; and a sister, Jeanette Greene, also of Winnfield. Those left to cherish her memory include her eight children Jay Jordan (Rhonda), Kris Newsome (Ken), Paul Hailey (Sandy), Danny Branscum (Brandy), Sarah Hailey, Mary Lee Carr (Ed), Judy Stafford (Bill), and Vickie Pierce (Michael); her two sisters, Vera Robertson Abrams (Austin), Dianne McPhearson (Roger); and her brother W.C. McCarty, Jr. (Linda). She is survived by her 18 grandchildren, 12 fuzzy grandbabies, 14 great-grandchildren, as well as a large extended family of nieces, nephews, and numerous friends. She loved each one of us unconditionally and in our own unique way. Over the years, she shared some of her favorite stories such as her grandson, Bryce, catching fish in “Jo Jo’s” pond and her telling him, we’re going to fry these up with him responding “I’m a catch and release man, Jo Jo!” She loved his kind and caring spirit. Then there was her little grandson, Daniel, who she always would tell “I know that lady, she’s the crazy lady that loves me!” She enjoyed playing with her great-grandson, Quinton, by running her long fingernails up his arm tickling him to make him laugh and giggle. A memorial service was held in Panama City on May 7, 2016. A second service for Winnfield area family and friends will be held at a later date at Hurricane Grove Baptist Church near Sikes, which will be announced through this medium. In lieu of flowers, the family request that memorial donations be made to the Bay County Humane Society or to the American Cancer Society in memory of Betty Jo McCarty-Roberts.

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