Bettie Earnest

Published 11:56 am Wednesday, March 13, 2024

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Bettie Earnest, 79, of Auburn, Alabama, passed away peacefully in her home on March 11, 2024. She was born in Greenville, Alabama, on Christmas Eve 1944 to the late Billie Oswald Sr. and Minnie Coleson Oswald.

Bettie Earnest

She earned a music degree with voice concentration from William Carey University and then moved to Andalusia, Alabama, as a newlywed to begin her career and start a family. She taught elementary school for 29 years and then preschool for seven years. As an avid reader, she began the Advanced Reading program in the Andalusia City School System and was the first educator to introduce technology into the classroom.

Through many years of faithful service, she taught first grade Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. With passion and dedication, she directed adult, youth and children’s choirs, always improving and uplifting those she instructed. She touched so many lives through her selfless teaching and love of music, her sweet demeanor, kind soul and generous spirit.

She loved to travel and went on many adventures with family and friends over the years. Some of her favorite travels were touring Europe in her twenties, cruising the Alaskan inside passage for her 40th wedding anniversary, sightseeing and shopping in New York at Christmas time, and the many annual trips with her immediate and extended family. One of her proudest moments was singing in New York’s Lincoln Center with fellow choir members from First Baptist Church Opelika.

She is survived by Al Earnest, her husband of 54 years, her children and their spouses, Melodie (Jody) McDanal; Merrie (Darren) Sheridan and Terrence (Maggie) Lane and granddaughter Tillie Lane; her siblings and their spouses, Billy (Ann) Oswald; Wayne (Sue) Oswald and Julia Parker.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, March 14, 3 p.m., at First Baptist Church of Opelika with visitation beginning at 2 p.m. prior to the service.