Betty Rackley Pace Gardner, 68, former nurse manager at New Hanover Regional Medical Center

Betty Rackley Pace Gardner

WILMINGTON — Peacefully and surrounded by her family, Betty R. Gardner, 68, passed away Thursday, June 24, 2021, after a short battle with breast cancer.

She was born Nov. 18, 1952, in Wilmington, to the late James H. and Mary Oliver Rackley. She was also preceded in death by her husband, William Gardner of Greenville; and brother, James Wintress Rackley of Wilmington.

Betty attended Hoggard High School and Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington. At Cape Fear, she received nurse aide certification, License in Practical Nursing and Associate Degree in Applied Science and Criminal Justice. Later, she attended East Carolina University in Greenville and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Betty had a lengthy career in healthcare, which included working in Raleigh for the Department of Public Safety as the senior nurse clinician, Dorthea Dix Hospital as the quality assurance coordinator, and for the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation as a surveyor, team leader and assistant section chief and branch manager. In Wilmington, she worked at New Hanover Regional Medical Center as a nurse manager in acute psychiatric care, in the admission unit at Oaks Behavioral Hospital and at Southeastern Mental Health as a clinical assistant, crisis therapist and follow up specialist. Her passion for nursing led her to also teach at various educational settings.

Betty is survived by her three sons, Scott, Mark and Timothy Pace of Wilmington; and daughter, April Harris of Ayden. She adored her nine grandchildren, Katlyn, Joshua, Skylyn, Christian, Seth, Caleb, Jackson, Isabella and Vivian; and two great-grandchildren, Ayla and Jazlynn. Being the youngest in the family, she got lots of attention from her four sisters, Carol Squires of Washington, Levada Potter of Lake Waccamaw, Mary Ann Potter of Gastonia and Sue Barnes of Atkinson.

After retiring in March 2019, she focused on spending time with her family. She loved taking care of others, especially her sisters, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A visitation and funeral will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, June 29, at Andrews Mortuary on Market Street, Wilmington, conducted by the Rev. Mark Teachey. Interment will follow in Bellevue Cemetery.

The family would like to thank the UNC Cancer Hospital and Lower Cape Fear Life Center in Wilmington for their care and support.

Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.

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