ASH — Betty Lou Worrell Long, 88, passed away Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Wilmington. She was the daughter of the late Esther McCollum Worrell and Willie Manson “Griff” Worrell.
Betty was a woman of great inner strength. After having three children, she decided to go to college to become a teacher. She graduated from UNC Pembroke in 3 years with honors. At the age of 30, she started teaching first grade at Waccamaw Elementary School in Ash and taught there 42 years until retiring at age 73. She was always called “Miss Betty” by her students and others who knew her well.
Betty grew up attending Spring Branch Holiness Church in New Hope. After marrying Jack and moving to Brunswick County, she became a dedicated member of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. She started as the pianist there at the age of 19 and continued faithfully (eventually switching to the organ) into her 80s. She was a member of the Alpha Delta Kappa teachers sorority.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Otha “O.J.,” “Jack” Long; beloved, recently-deceased daughter, Alisa Joy Duncan; as well as siblings, William Worrell, Jay Worrell and Curtis Worrell.
She is survived by two daughters, Rebecca “Becky” Long (Harry Marriner) and Tina Long Wilson (Butch Ahern); granddaughter, Aimee Rebecca Duncan; grandsons, Thomas “Butch” Duncan III, Benjamin Duncan (Raven) and Cyrus Otha Marriner; and son-in-law, Thomas “Tommy” Duncan. She was also blessed with three beautiful great-grandchildren, Landon, Jessie and Maggie Jane Duncan. Also surviving are her siblings, Jerry Worrell, and his wife, Clara, Iris Worrell Dutton, Brenda Worrell Gray; and sister-in-law, Joyce Worrell.
A graveside service will be held at 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 14, at Ward Cemetery, Daniel Butler Road, Longwood, with the Rev. Mark Register officiating. Her daughters ask that all attendees wear masks and social distance to protect the health of all involved.
Memorials may be made in her name to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, 1924 Capital Blvd., Raleigh, NC 27604.
Share online condolences with the family at Michael J. Fulwood Funeral Service Licensee.