Bettie Kirk Wilson died peacefully at her home in Johnson City on March 28 following an extended illness.
The daughter of the late Nelle Moody Kirk and Guy Robert Kirk, she was born on October 4, 1942, in Huntingdon, Tennessee. She was a 1965 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, Memphis, where she was valedictorian.
She moved to Johnson City following graduation where she began a long and distinguished career in health services. She was employed by Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) from 1966 until her retirement in 2009 after 43 years of service. At the time of her retirement, she was System Services Director for all MSHA Hospital Pharmacies in Tennessee and Virginia.
She served on the Mountain States Foundation Board of Trustees (2011-2013; Emeritus status 2013) and was the founding member of the Niswonger Children’s Hospital Kite Society. She served as past Vice President and past President of the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy and was active in the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and the Tennessee Pharmacy Association (TPA).
In 1998, the Tennessee Society of Health System Pharmacists named her Hospital Pharmacist of the Year. In 2013, the Bettie Wilson Leadership Scholarship Endowment was established at the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy at East Tennessee State University to honor her service to the College and leadership in the field of Pharmacy. She was an unfailing supporter in the effort to bring a College of Pharmacy to East Tennessee. She was the first Chairperson of the College’s Admissions Committee and served on the Board of Visitors.
She is survived by her daughter, Ellen Wilson Offutt and husband, Perry, of New York City; and two grandchildren, James and Caroline, to whom she was their adored “Bebe.”
Her life was a gift to her family, friends, and colleagues. She was a voracious reader (often reading a novel a night) with a lifelong love of learning and a quick wit. Her integrity, strength of character, wisdom and style will be missed but never forgotten.
The family extends a special thank you to our dear friend, Judy Ingala, who tirelessly managed Bettie’s care and provided constant companionship throughout her illness. The family is also grateful for the exceptional care provided by Dr. David Freemon and Dr. Randy Hoover, as well as by her wonderful team of caregivers in the home.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 6, at Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, 201 East Market Street, Johnson City, Tennessee.
A reception to receive friends will immediately follow in Munsey’s Christian Life Center.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Bettie Wilson Leadership Scholarship Endowment for the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy at ETSU would be appreciated. Gifts may be mailed to the ETSU Foundation, PO Box 70721, Johnson City, TN 37614.
Memories and condolences may be sent to the Wilson family via www.morrisbaker.com.
Morris-Baker Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2001 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, is serving the Wilson family. (423) 282-1521