Elizabeth "Betty" Ann Wyllys Rands, 81, passed on Aug. 7, 2013. She was born Sept. 24, 1931, in Palatka, Fla., to Amos and Miriam Wyllys and grew up in Hastings, Fla. She lived most of her life in the Jacksonville area.
Betty graduated from the University of Florida as part of the first graduating class of women in the early 1950s. She continued to break boundaries by starting the first interscholastic girls" basketball team in Duval County at Jackson High School in 1954. Betty taught the future stars of tomorrow in Hollywood High School in the early 1960s. She met her former husband, William Rands, and birthed her only daughter, Karen Yvette Rands, while in California. She returned to Florida in 1968 and taught health at Douglas Anderson for many years, before getting her Masters in Guidance and Counseling at University of Florida. She was the Dean of girls at Fletcher Junior High School from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. Before retiring, Betty worked as a guidance counselor at Justina Elementary and in Greenfield Elementary.
Those that loved her knew of her passion for the Gators. As a lifelong Republican, she worked on many campaigns from Ronald Reagan for Governor of California as a mobile maid to Mitt Romney for President as a volunteer. She loved traveling, shopping, reading and playing bridge.
Betty was a member of Beach United Methodist Church, the NE Florida Association of Realtors, and the St. Johns County Republican Party. Please visit www.hardage-giddensbeacheschapel.com for a link to her memorial page.
Betty is survived by her daughter, Karen Yvette Rands, son-in-law Jim Bock, granddaughter, Shelby Bock, sisters, Nancy Roberts (George) and Carolyn Brown. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews and their families, who cherished her as the matriarch of their family, and two step-sons and their families.
The family will receive friends from 1-1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, at Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home, 1701 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach, Fla. The memorial service will follow directly after at 1:30 p.m. A celebration of life will be held at another location following the memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Betty"s name to the United Methodist Children"s Home, http://www.allchildrenfirst.org/fumch/, 51 Children"s Way, Enterprise, FL 32725 (386) 668-4774.
Arrangements by Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home, Jacksonville Beach 904-249-2374