Obituary Listings

Betty Poole Whitfield
There are condolences waiting approval on Betty's Tribute wall
Obituary for Betty Poole Whitfield

Betty Poole Whitfield, 85, passed away on Sunday, November 19, 2017 at Hock Family Pavilion in Durham. She was born in Durham, at Watts Hospital, the daughter of the late George L. Poole and Erma Flynn Poole. In addition to her parents, she was also predeceased by her husband, Joseph Madison Whitfield; and sister, Rosebud Poole Whitfield.

Betty’s passion for teaching was the joy of her life, along with the love she had for her family. She attended Braggtown Baptist Church most all of her life, and most recently was a member of Temple Baptist Church. Betty graduated from Bragtown School in 1949, and went that fall to ECTC (East Carolina Teacher’s College, now ECU) to study to be a teacher. She graduated in less than 4 years, and married Madison Whitfield, the love of her life, on May 19, 1953. They were married just short of 55 years when Madison passed away in April of 2008. Betty began teaching in 1955 for the Durham County Schools, which later became Durham Public Schools, when she retired in 1992. She taught at Bragtown (1955-1959), Holt (1959-1964), and Carrington (1964-1992). She loved her church, and taught Sunday School often there. She loved any type of puzzles, from crosswords, to cryptograms and sudoku, as well as jigsaw puzzles. She loved board games, and taught her children and grandchildren to play them, and love them, too. Her grandchildren were a big part of her retired life, and she spent all of the time she could with them. She loved animals, children, the elderly, and everyone, actually. She was a firm, yet gentle woman, and loving, but would get her opinion across clearly when needed, in her “school teacher” voice. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, and friend. She will be missed so much by all who knew her, and loved her. Her love of God, and her legacy of kindness, humility, and selflessness will be passed down, and forever remembered by her family.

Mrs. Whitfield is survived by her sons, Richard McKinley Whitfield (Paulette), James Lawrence Whitfield; daughter, Rebecca Whitfield Belk (Ryan); grandchildren, William Whitfield Holt, Emily Madison Holt, Wesley Tyler Holt, Taylor Ryann Belk, Hannah Marie Belk; sister, Carol Smith (Carlie); and brother, Richard G. Poole, and many dear nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A funeral service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, November 25th at Clements Funeral Home in Durham. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 12:00 to 1:45 pm at the funeral home. Graveside service will follow the service in Maplewood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to any charity of your choice, but flowers are appreciated, as she planted flowers each spring and summer.

The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc. in Durham. Online condolences may be made at

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Betty Poole Whitfield, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Visitation Prior to the Service




12:00 PM - 1:45 PM
Clements Funeral Home

1105 Broad St.
Durham, NC 27705

Funeral Service Following Visitation




2:00 PM
Clements Funeral Chapel in Durham

1105 Broad Street
Durham, NC 27705

Cemetery Details


Maplewood Cemetery

1621 Duke University Road
Durham, NC 27701


Create new album
Subscribe To Obituaries

We appreciate your support
In accordance with the wishes of the family, this
message has been declined.
Betty Poole Whitfield

Thank you for sharing your
memory of Betty

Provide comfort by sending fresh
flowers from our local florist.

Send Flowers
No thanks, please don't show me this again.