Betty Ruth (Smith) Gambrell

Born: Sat., May 21, 1927
Died: Wed., Oct. 29, 2014

Private Interment


10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Sat., Nov. 01, 2014
Location: Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Sat., Nov. 01, 2014
Location: Peebles Curry Memorial Chapel

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Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors announces the death of Mrs. Betty S. Gambrell, age 87, of Swainsboro,  GA on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at the Emanuel Medical Center Nursing Home.

Funeral services will be Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 11:00 AM in the Peebles-Curry Memorial Chapel with Rev. Wayne DeFore officiating, assisted by Rev. Scott Brenton.

Interment will be private in the Forest Lawn Cemetery near Dellwood, GA

The family will receive friends at the funeral home Saturday, November 1, 2014 from 10:00 AM till time of service.

Mrs. Gambrell was born in Swainsboro, Emanuel County, GA, received her bachelors degree from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA, and retired after 40 years of service from the Emanuel County Board of Education. After retirement she continued as a substitute teacher  and was the first special education teacher in Emanuel County.  Mrs. Gambrell was a member of the Retired Teachers Association and served for 28 years as the Director of the Swainsboro Animal Shelter, which was later renamed the Betty S. Gambrell Animal Shelter. Mrs. Gambrell was a member of the Swainsboro First United Methodist Church and was preceded in death by her husband, Walter W. Gambrell; son, Phillip I. Gambrell Sr. and parents, Henry I. and Fannie Jeffers Smith.

Survivors include:

One Daughter: Shari Watt (Dwight) of Swainsboro, GA 

Two Sisters: Sue Carol Atkinson of Berkley, WV and Mary Paul Smith (Warren) of Kingsport, TN

Six Grandchildren: Betsy Gambrell Clark (Tony), Phillip I Gambrell Jr., Jon Gambrell (Christine), Joe Gambrell, Jay Brandon Gambrell and Lisa Faith Gambrell

One Step Grandchild: Ashley Cowart (Jody), five great-grandchildren and extended family.

Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to the  Betty S. Gambrell Animal Shelter, P O Box 1637, Swainsboro, GA  30401

Condolences may be submitted online at

Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements for the funeral of  Mrs. Betty S. Gambrell of Swainsboro, GA

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Condolence Booklet

Patsy and Wayne Kersey
   Posted Thu October 30, 2014
Shari, I am so sorry for your loss. Your mother was such a wonderful lady and was always helping where she was needed. She has been such a hard worker for the Animal Shelter and for her church. She will be missed dearly. May God give you strength and comfort as you move forward. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Patsy and Wayne Kersey

Michelle Tapley Robertson
   Posted Thu October 30, 2014
I am so sorry to hear of Ms. Betty's passing. My love & prayers go out to Shari, Philip, & all the family!
Ms. Betty will be missed!!!! She was such a wonderful lady with such a big heart! Her love for animals also made her a Hero!!!

Billy Jack and Lynn Gregg
   Posted Thu October 30, 2014
Shari and Dwight, we were so sorry to hear about your mother's death. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers in the days to come.

Neil & Mary Kalmanson
   Posted Thu October 30, 2014
Your Mother was such a neat person. She will be sorely missed.

Mary Ann Peebles
   Posted Sat November 01, 2014
Shari I am so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. She truly was a dedicated person
in her love for animals.
Mary Ann & Cissy

Clark and Judy Foster
   Posted Mon November 03, 2014
We are sorry to hear about your mother. We will have you in our prayers.
Judy and Clark

Ann Allen
   Posted Mon November 03, 2014
Dear Shari,
We were so sorry to hear about your mother's passing. I know she has left an empty spot in your heart. By looking over the other comments, I realized that your mom also invested her life in helping innocent animals. We will be praying for you and your family.
Ann and Gordon

Michael David Anvil Allen Williams
   Posted Tue November 04, 2014
I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your mom. I wanted to let you and Dwight know that I am thinking about you during this time. I know that the memories you shared with your mom will be with forever and will help to ease the sorrow over time. Take care and may you be blessed with peace and comfort during this time.