CALVERT — Education was dear to Bettie Murray, who spent nearly 40 years teaching in the Cecil County Public Schools system as a speech pathologist before retiring.
Several months after Murray, 66, was killed in a traffic accident on Joseph Biggs Highway (Route 274), south of Rising Sun, on Nov. 14, 2018, her surviving family members established the Bettie Murray Memorial Scholarship Fund at Cecil College — knowing it would be the perfect way to honor the educator and her memory.
"Bettie Murray retired from Cecil County Public Schools after 38 years of service, a career for which she was extremely passionate. Bettie was a gifted listener who had the ability to make everyone feel special and loved. She was a light to all who knew and loved her," said her niece, Jacqueline Lockwood, of Chestertown.
Lockwood made her comment on Nov. 24 at Calvert Community Park, where approximately 50 people participated in the 2nd Annual Bettie Murray Memorial Disc Golf Tournament to raise funds for her namesake Cecil College scholarships.
Registration fees for the tournament and fundraising activities related to the event, including 50/50 raffle ticket sales, generated more than $2,000 for the Bettie Murray Memorial Scholarship Fund at Cecil College, Lockwood reported.
The efforts to support the scholarship fund also included a silent auction at State Line Liquors, an Elkton-area business that the Murray family founded and has owned and operated for several decades.
Murray's surviving husband, Robert Murray, is one of those family members who is involved in the business. Bettie Murray is also survived by their two adult sons, Matthew and Michael.
“All prizes, auction items and raffles were donated by generous community members, businesses and corporate sponsors,” Lockwood noted, commenting, “We are so grateful for all the generosity and support.”
Among the tournament competitors on Nov. 24 was Kyle VanDyke, a Calvert resident who, working as a volunteer, created the park's disc golf course, which covers approximately 5,800 feet.
VanDyke is a longtime friend of the Murray family. With the help of several people, including Delaware resident Matt Lucatmo, VanDyke organized the Bettie Murray Memorial Scholarship Disc Golf Tournament.
“Last year, it was a real intimate setting — just family and friends. This year, we had a lot more people. We want it to keep growing in the years to come,” VanDyke said.
He added that Bettie Murray was a beloved woman who educated thousands of students during her four-decade career in Cecil County and that the Bettie Murray Memorial Scholarship Fund at Cecil College is a good cause.
To make additional donations to this scholarship, please visit cecil.edu/donate or contact the Cecil College Foundation at 410-287-1146. To apply for the Bettie Murray Memorial Scholarship or other scholarships at Cecil College, applicants can visit cecil.edu/scholarships.
The driver who allegedly caused the November 2018 head-on collision that killed Murray — Jennifer Erin Graf, 24, of Elkton — is charged with negligent vehicular manslaughter, vehicular homicide while under the influence of drugs and several other criminal and traffic offenses, according to Cecil County Circuit Court records.
Graf's jury trial is scheduled to start Dec. 9, court records show.