Betty Jane (Neale) Burkhardt, 89, of Bristol, passed away Tuesday, May 6, 2014, at Rhode Island Hospital.
She was the loving wife of the late Kenneth R. Burkhardt.
Born in Providence, she was a daughter of the late Howard Irvin and Elva T. (Newman) Neale.
She leaves two children, Dr. Ann Burkhardt (Ramon Noboa Barroso) of Bristol, and Neale (Sharon DeMerchant) Burkhardt of Rochester, N.Y.; two grandchildren, Debra A (Korey) Bower and Diana L Biedeman (Landon Gleffe); and three great-grandchildren, Jenna L. Bower, Roderick Biedeman and Hannah Bower of Rochester, N.Y.
Betty was raised in Providence. She was a graduate of Central High School and Edgewood Secretarial School. She was an executive secretary for many years. She was an extraordinary mother who often took on leadership roles as scout leader (Cub Scouts, Brownies and Girl Scouts, in East Providence) and Mother Advisor of the Rainbow Girls (Riverside). Betty and her husband, Ken, were Hattie Brown Award Honorees in the 2003 Bristol Fourth of July parade, recognized for their service to elders in local nursing homes as lay ministers for the St. Michael’s Episcopal Church parish community.
In her youth, Betty danced professionally (acrobatics, ballet and dance) with the Miriam Palmer company/school. She also was a child actor in a production of “The Corn is Green,” in Providence, that starred Ethel Barrymore.
Arrangements were with Smith Funeral & Memorial Services, 8 Schoolhouse Road, Warren on Monday, May 12. A funeral service was held at the home, and burial was in North Burial Ground Cemetery, Bristol. In Lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to St Michael’s Episcopal Church, 399 Hope St., Bristol, RI 02809 or the Bristol Rescue Squad, PO Box 775, Bristol, RI 02809. www.wjsmithfh.com