School 21


Betty Jane Harris Rasberry

April 4, 1927 ~ August 27, 2018 (age 91)

Betty Jane Harris Rasberry age 91 of Martin, died August 27, 2018 at Van Ayer Nursing Home in Martin, Tennessee.  She was born April 4, 1927 to Bob and Myrtle Harris, grew up in the Tatumville Community near Newbern and attended school there.

Rasberry held a bachelor of science in elementary education from The University of Tennessee at Martin and a master of science in social work from the University of Tennessee.  During her work career, Rasberry was employed for more than ten years with the Tennessee Department of Human Services in Nashville as the staff development and training officer.  She then relocated with her husband to Martin, Tennessee, in order to establish the degree program in Social Work at The University of Tennessee at Martin. She served as the department chair, retiring after 30 years of state government service. 

Following retirement from UT Martin, Rasberry worked for another 12 years as a licensed, board certified Clinical Social Worker, out of her own private, independent practice in Martin.  During her career, Rasberry was a consultant to numerous hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitations centers, and home health and hospice agencies in the West Tennessee area. 

Rasberry was also actively involved in service-related community groups and civic organizations.  She sat on professional boards at local, state, and national levels and her participation in these activities continued after her retirement in 1992. A writer of both books and articles, Rasberry held the singular distinction of serving as president of both the Tennessee Chapter of the National Associations of Social Workers and the Tennessee Conference on Social Welfare.  In 2008, Rasberry received the Jim Pryor Child Advocacy Award for her career-long dedication to child advocacy.

Until her health began to fail, Rasberry was an active member of Trinity Presbyterian Church (USA) in Martin, where she was an ordained elder and served multiple terms as the Clerk of Session. 

Rasberry was predeceased by her husband William I. “Bud” Rasberry, her two children, Joseph A. “Joey” Rasberry and Janie R. Yandell, and her granddaughter, Tammy Yandell Roll.  Survivors include her brother, Robert A. Harris of Kingston, Tennessee, grandson E.L. “Tri” Yandell III of Nashville and a great granddaughter, Marie Roll of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Funeral services will be held AT 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 30, 2018,  at the Johnson-Williams Funeral Home Chapel in Newbern, Tennessee, with Reverend Dr. Lee Clements, Reverend George Pasley and Dr. Richard Robinson officiating. Visitation will be Wednesday from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM at Johnson-Williams Funeral Home. Pallbearers are Jacky Gullett, Jason Jackson, Jed Smith, Tommy Rasberry, Marvin Holley and Doug Cook.  Burial will follow at the Fairview Cemetery in Newbern. The family requests that memorials be made to Trinity Presbyterian church, 145 Hannings Lane, Martin, Tennessee, 38237.

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