Obituaries » Bettie O. King

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Bettie O. King

September 28, 2021

Nineteenth Street Baptist Church
4606 16th St NW,
Washington, DC 20011
Friday 10 to 11am
October 8, 2021

Nineteenth Street Baptist Church
4606 16th St NW,
Washington, DC 20011
Friday 11am
October 8, 2021

Bettie Odessa King was born December 29, 1920, in Nashville, North Carolina to Iley Williams Bryant and Lillie Blanch Rudd. She was one of eight children. She moved to Washington, DC in 1939 and married Army Veteran, James King, in 1940. With God leading their journey, they had a beautiful family of two sons, three grandchildren, eight bonus grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and six bonus great grandchildren. For over 100 years, Bettie has truly blessed so many people. The following sections are dedicated to her memory and are only a small semblance of a life well-lived and a woman well-loved.

Bettie was an incredible cook. She started cooking at the age of 9. Because she was not tall enough to reach the stove, she used a stool to maneuver her way around the kitchen. You could smell the aroma from her food miles away! In addition to preparing thousands of meals for soldiers during World War II, she also routinely prepared meals for her family and members of the local churches. She also prepared meals for the public, especially the sick in her local community.

“Grandma King’s food fed your soul. She did not teach me how to cook by a book, recipe card, or any type of notes. It was all by memories of all her favorite dishes and generations of dishes taught to her by ones before her. It was an honor to sit at her kitchen table and share time. Thank you.” Love, Bruce

Bettie used her love for cooking to create employment opportunities when she moved to Washington, DC at the age of 19. She became a Private Chef and started a Home Health Aide business. She and her husband owned the local convenient store in the neighborhood where they purchased their “forever home” in Northwest, DC. In addition, they were the first African Americans to own a waterproofing company in Washington, DC. In a life filled with meaning and accomplishments, Bettie King emerged as the family’s shining example.

“Grandma King is incredibly beautiful and powerful. Her success as a business woman has been an inspiration for the entire family. What is truly remarkable is that she accomplished so much in spite the 1900s clear divide. Blacks were struggling for economic equality, racial discrimination, segregation in school and so much more. Although Grandma King was up against the same issues, she issues, she managed to create success through hard work, prayer and determination. Witnessing her drive from her years in business and missionary work, while maintaining a household, taught me the gift of aging with Grace and the power in knowing that I am a child of God for whom all things are possible. Grandma King, we are so blessed and thankful to have been chosen as your grandchildren.” Love, Danielle

God was a very big part of Bettie’s life. She received Christ at a young age. She started and closed every day with prayer and thanks. She loved to read the bible and do missionary work. As a Deaconess, she provided pastoral care to others, as well as provided a place for people to stay until they got back on their feet. Over her lifetime, she provided shelter, food and clothing to dozens of families, without any desire for compensation or accolades.

“Grandma King believed in the power of prayer. As I would sit beside her in bed, I would hear her praying for everyone by name. Thank you for teaching me to pray.” Love, Jamelle

Bettie had loving parents- Iley and Lillie. She was the youngest of eight. Bettie and her husband, James, raised two children – James, Jr. and Antonio. Over the decades, their family grew. Grandchildren; Shannon, Lareshia, Danielle, JamesJr., Bruce, Selena, Mike, Nytika, LeaAda, Christin, Sabrina and Bobby. Great grandchildren: Jamelle, JaJuan, Markayla, James III, Jade, Lacie, Legend, Jasmine, Michya, Montell, Morgan, Brooke, Karin and Madison.

“Grandma King was always there for her family each and everyday. She provided unconditional love and never gave up on us. Thank you for the constant prayers of the Lord’s covering. Thank you for modeling and teaching us how to be the epitome of strong black women. Most importantly, thank you forteaching us the kindness of giving from the heart. ” Love, Shannon

Bettie’s heart is one that loves to help, serve, pray for, and feed those in need throughout the community. She believed in never letting anyone go hungry. Although she was bound to a wheelchair over 15 years ago, due to a terrible fall at the doctor’s office, she continued to help and open her door to those in transition.

Grandma King was a beautiful person inside and out. She was elegant and kind hearted and the greatest person I know. Love, Lareshia

For 100 years, Bettie King graced our family with intellect, elegance, commitment and unwavering faith.

"Over 24 Years of Proven Personal Experience Serving this Community."