WRAL-TV Legend Bette Elliott Remembered With Special Service

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WRAL-TV Legend Bette Elliott Remembered With Special Service

Bette Elliott
Bette Elliot

On Sunday, May 22, 2005, the family and friends of Bette (Elizabeth) Elliott gathered to remember her, and celebrate her life. The memorial service was conducted in the St. Mark’s Chapel located in the Mordecai Historic Park near downtown Raleigh. The service was divided in three parts:

Gathering , instrumental music, lighting of the candles by her children, Carmen & Lee Elliott and song.

The First Voice-Voice of the Sacred , Psalm 139: 1-12 read by Carmen Elliott, a reading by Professor Lee Elliot and a song by Rev. Nina Conn Franks, her former caregiver.

Carmen & Lee Elliott
Elliott’s children, Carmen (left) & Lee played an active role in the memorial service.

The Second Voice-Voice of Truth . An invitation to share personal reflections. A number of her friends and family shared special stories about her. Paul Pope, CBC VP of Community Relations spoke of working on her TV show as a teenager and how much of an elegant lady she was. A former colleague told of how as the Women’s section editor of The Raleigh Times newspaper, she rang the bell for the Salvation Army in front of a downtown Raleigh ABC store. Everyone was afraid not to give, for fear she would list their names in her column. People also remembered her tall statue and beauty. Her daughter Carmen spoke of how she was abandoned by her husband and the proud woman that she was. Elliott relocated to Raleigh with a two-year-old son and six-month-old daughter. She was a single mother in 1949, working at the newspaper. This was unheard of at the time, and was a very brave and unconventional behavior.

Mordecai Park
The memorial service took place at Mordecai Historic Park in downtown Raleigh.
St. Mark's Chapel
Guests remembered Elliott for her tall stature, her beauty and her spirit.

The Third Voice- Voice of Transformation : Poetry readings, Verses, and song.

Farewell in Peace and Love : Unison reading of the 23rd Psalm, and the extinguishing of the candles by her children.

Everyone gathered with the family for refreshments after the service at the front entrance of the chapel.

Elliott’s former colleagues at WRAL-TV came to honor her including (l to r) CBC’s Paul Pope, CBC retirees Billie Krisulewicz& Mildred Bradley & WRAL-TV’s Clarence Williams.

“This was a wonderfully spiritual ceremony, full of good memories and an appreciation of her love,” said WRAL-TV Director/Producer Clarence Williams. “Bette was truly a very gifted writer and editor. Perhaps, a woman ahead of the time. How difficult it must have been to raise two babies …a single mother, without family, in a new city.”

Elliott died on December 27, 2004. She served as host of WRAL-TV’s Femme Fare, billed as a magazine program for the modern woman, from 1962-1975. Elliott was also a noted writer and editor for newspapers and magazines around the country.

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Clarence Williams for this capcom story & to Stuart Ramsey for these capcom photos.

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