Betty “Granny” Graves, known for her long-standing, vocal and all-encompassing support of Scott County schools and athletics, has died.
“She loved these kids from the bottom of her heart,” said longtime basketball coach Billy Hicks. “She loved Scott County and became like a mother to these kids. The loving was mutual. These kids thought the world of her.”
Betty Graves continued to substitute teach right up until she was diagnosed with colon cancer in June, said her son Roger Graves. She was in good spirits and receiving visitors as late as last week, he said.
The staff at Georgetown’s Tucker-Yocum & Wilson Funeral Home suggested that the visitation be held at the high school.
“They just thought that the crowds would be too big,” for any other location, Roger Graves said.
Visitation for Betty Graves is from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Georgetown’s Scott County High School gym. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Stamping Ground Baptist Church, 3309 Main Street, Stamping Ground.
The widow of Gayle K. Graves, Betty Graves is also survived by another son, Harry, of Lexington and a daughter, Dana McMillen of Stamping Ground. She came to Scott County as a teacher in 1952 when the population was about 15,000.
She retired after 37 years of teaching, and was a substitute teacher for about 30 years.
“She just loved being in school,” Roger Graves said.
Scott County School Board member Stephanie Powers remembers being impressed with Betty Graves even as a 17-year-old student. Powers, now an English teacher, said Betty Graves took time to interact with each student. But, she said, Betty Graves took no guff.
“She disciplined with just a look,” she said, adding that kids adored her anyway.
When Powers became a Scott County teacher, she found Betty Graves on her substitute teacher list. She continued to learn from her mentor, she said. And she applied Betty Graves’ personal “Golden Rule” which was to get to know your students and where they come from.
This, Powers said, is “invaluable in a small community. If you promise to call a child’s mama or daddy because you know them personally, all of the sudden that child is now your star pupil.”
Powers and Betty Graves continued to be friends, but she is still learning things about her friend, she said. When Powers shared the news of Betty Graves’ death with her uncle, County Judge Executive George Lusby, she discovered that his start as an educator was filling in for Betty Graves when she was on maternity leave.
In addition to substitute teaching, Betty Graves cheered from the front row and sidelines of many athletic competitions. Her enthusiasm and commitment earned her entry into the Scott County Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.
Scott County grew tremendously during Betty Graves’ association with the district. The estimated population is now closer to 52,000. Her long tenure meant she connected with many, many students.
Former Scott County basketball player Dakotah Euton, who now works for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, said he was one of the many students who had a special bond with Betty Graves.
“She perfectly personified the love of God in the way that she lived,” he said. “For some reason she gave me the nickname of U-U. ... Even after I graduated from Scott County, throughout my college years, I had her house phone number and she had my cellphone number.”
“She was just a very special lady and really had an impact on us students, on us athletes and a way of just showing us the love of God,” he said.
Betty “Granny” Graves
Visitation for Betty “Granny” Graves will be from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Scott County High School gym. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Stamping Ground Baptist Church, Stamping Ground, where Betty Graves was church pianist and organist.
Memorials may be made to Scott County F.F.A. Alumni Association, Dale Glass, 2736 Frankfort Road, Georgetown, Ky., 40324, for "Granny" Graves Scholarship Award.