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Teacher played active role in church, community

| Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
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When Betty Jane Sutton greeted you with a smile and said she was glad to see you, she meant it, said her friend, Mary Weise of Bridgeville.

She described Mrs. Sutton as a woman dedicated to her family, community, students, and to the tenets of her Methodist faith.

“Betty Jane, who was my neighbor, was active in the First United Methodist Church in Bridgeville, where she taught Sunday school for many years,” said Weise, the executive director of the Bridgeville Historical Society. Mrs. Sutton belonged to the church for more than 70 years.

“And in later years, when it became difficult for her to move around, she never missed a church service on Sunday.”

Betty Jane Sutton, who taught mathematics in what is now Chartiers Valley School District, died on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, in Pines of Mt. Lebanon. She was 94.

Born and raised in Bridgeport, W.Va., Mrs. Sutton was one of two children in the family of Guy E. and Blanche Lawson Watson.

In 1940, upon graduating from Fairmont State College, where she played basketball, she married her childhood sweetheart, Joseph Burl Sutton.

The family eventually moved to Bridgeville, where her husband worked for G.E. Glass Works.

Her son, Joseph, said his mother completed any task she took on.

“I never saw her down. She was always open and accepting of whatever came her way,” he said. “She was always looking forward to making life easier for older people.

“On Thanksgiving, we always had two or three older men and women at our dinner table. And there was always space for anyone who needed a hot meal.”

She was a member of, and officer for, many organizations. Those included the PTA, the Bridgeville Junior Women's Club, the College Club of Carnegie, the Girl Scouts and the Cub Scouts.

Mrs. Sutton was a founder of Bridgeville Public Library.

In addition to her son, Joseph, of Houston, Texas, she is survived by her daughters, Jennifer Brett of Upper St. Clair, and Jane Sutton-Frawley of Charleston, S.C.; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband and a sister, Mary Lee Watson.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday in Beinhauer-Fryer Funeral Home, 430 Washington Ave., Bridgeville. Interment will be at 3 p.m. in Bridgeport Cemetery, Bridgeport, W.Va.

Jerry Vondas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7823 or jvondas@tribweb.com.

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