Bettye Jean Branch Bragg, former Head Start aide, dies at age 80
Jeremy M. Lazarus | 3/16/2023, 6 p.m.
Bettye Jean Branch Bragg touched the lives of hundreds of Richmond children during her 34 years as a teacher’s aide in Head Start, a program to prepare 3 and 4-year-olds for kindergarten and higher grades.
A Richmond native and 1961 graduate of Maggie L. Walker High School, Mrs. Bragg joined the Head Start staff at Overby-Sheppard Elementary School in North Side after her two children started school, and served there until her early retirement in 2002.
“Her love and concern for her students was evident,” her family wrote, noting that the children she worked with would often come back to see her as they grew up.
Mrs. Bragg succumbed to illness on Thursday, March 2, 2023, at age 80.
Family and friends celebrated her life Friday, March 10, at Sixth Baptist Church, where she was an active member for 50 years as well as a participant in the Women’s Ministry.
She loved singing religious music. She sang with Sixth Baptist’s Women’s Chorale and the E.L. Fleming Gospel Chorus. She also sang with a family gospel group, In Faith, and with the Metro Revival Choir. Mrs. Bragg also enjoyed talking on Citizens Band or CB radio, with her handle being “The Brown-eyed Doll,” and working on 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles. She also was a longtime member of the Ten Pin Bowling League.
Survivors include her husband, Clarence W. Bragg; son Kevin L. Bragg and daughter Candace B. Freeburn; sisters Barbara Anderson and Wanda B. West; brother Warren E. Branch Jr.; and a granddaughter.