Betty Lou Pratt Saunders
7/18/1936 - 3/22/2023
“When Someone you love becomes a memory the memory becomes a treasure.”
Betty was born in Albany NY to Clifford Orton Pratt (deceased) and Florence Norton Greenizen (deceased). She is survived by her only child, Susan Saunders Hedberg (William Hedberg), and several cousins.
When Betty was 7, she lost her mom, Florence, who died during childbirth. Betty grew up an only child but was loved dearly by her father and her mother’s siblings. Betty fondly remembered her Aunts: Margaret, Dot, Ellie, Barb and her Uncle Ray. Betty’s wonderfulAunts helped her father raise her and she often shared all the wonderful times she spent on her grandparents’ farm in Dexter, NY. After graduating from RyeHigh School in NY, Betty was accepted to and attended RIT, Rochester Institute of Technology, where she obtained her AA degree and was a member of DeltaOmicron Sorority. Missing a curfew and being “a bit” stubborn, she left RIT and became a Flight Attendant (Stewardess) for Eastern Airlines. Her time withEastern Airlines took her to Atlanta where she met William “Billy” Saunders. The story goes that she drove a white MG and he drove a black MG and they parked near each other in the apartment complex. Billy and Betty were married in Charleston, SC in 1962 and honeymooned in Hilton Head. Billy was an officer in the Navy and was stationed in Key West during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Betty moved toSavannah, GA to live with Billy’s parents and in February 1963, they had a daughter, Susan Frances Saunders.
When Billy and Betty divorced several years later, mother and daughter moved to Jacksonville, FL. Workingwomen were limited in career opportunities in 1968 but to Betty the world was always open and she never saw a ceiling, just bumps in the road. Betty worked many different jobs along the way and even owned her own business, a plant, antique & novelty store called Terraphernalia, which started her life-long love of plants, especially white orchids. Still not believing in ceilings but having encountered too many bumps, Betty went back to college and got her bachelor’s degree from UNF. While obtaining her degree and to finance her lifestyle, she started trading stocks. This led to her final career chapter asa CFP and Financial Advisor. She loved giving seminars and educating clients. She started her career with Dean Witter Reynolds in 1981 and worked in the industry for 31 years. Betty retired at age 75 from Raymond James Financial. Mother and daughter never ventured far apart and worked together as a team “SaundersWealth Management” for 19 years. Betty felt she so rewarded by being able to help others realize their financial goals and enter into retirement feeling secure.
In retirement, Betty was able to do all the things she loved. She was an avid reader; sometimes three novels in a weekend. She loved to travel with friends and Susan. Betty loved tennis and played until her knees gave out. After tennis wasn’t an option, she took up golf. “I hate golf, I hate golf, Great shot… I love Golf”. When golf became too hard on her failing body and heart, she turned to Bridge and was quite good at it.
Betty passed 3/22/2023 and as she took her last breaths, her faithful assistant, Monica Vona, and loving daughter, Susan, each held a hand. She will always be remembered as strong willed, brilliant, witty and loyal. Betty would wish for everyone to live life to the fullest, just as she did.
Betty will be interred with her beloved fur-babies: Tubby, Toby, Bump and her final companion, Fletcher. A memorial to honor Betty will be held at Ponte Vedra Valley on 4/21/2023 at 11 AM. Reception to follow at the home of Susan and Bill Hedberg. In lieu of flowers, please donate to any of the following charities: Tunnel to Towers (www.t2t.org), Community Hospice (www.communityhospice.com) or any Animal Charity of your choice.