Mrs. Billie Jean Burns Corrothers transitioned from life early Saturday morning, May 29, 2021. Mrs. Corrothers was born in St. Paul, Bradley County, Arkansas, North of Warren to Mr. Sam Burns and Mrs. Teanie Kolen Burns.
Preceding her in death were her late husband, Charles Corrothers, brother James Otis Beavers, sister Plyma Beavers Green, brother Rev. Vernell Beavers, uncle Rev. Selvin Kolen, surrogate brother Roosevelt Crawford, and her oldest daughter, Rev. Diane Corrothers Smalley.
Born into St. Paul A.M.E. Church, she attended Bethel A.M.E. Church in Warren after marriage. Her children attended both churches. She served as the secretary of Bethel's Official Board for several years. Mrs. Corrothers and her children joined Union A.M.E. Church in Little Rock when Rev. Cecil Cone was the pastor. Mrs. Mattie Powell greatly influenced her decision to go to Union.
In the 1940's Ms. Bessie Lowe, caucasian, of the St. Paul community, was kind and confident enough to drive Mrs. Corrothers and the George Beavers girls to the black high school in Warren every school day. Before earning her B. S. degree Mrs. Corrothers started her teaching career at a black private school in Childs, Arkansas, where the teachers boarded at Principal Childs' home. She and the other teachers picked cotton after dinner to help support the school. In 1956 she became a proud A.M.&N. College alumna where she earned her bachelor's degree in mathematics. In 1956 Principal S.E. Bullock hired her as a teacher for Bradley County High School in Warren.
In about 1962 Mrs. Corrothers received a National Defense Education Act (NDEA) scholarship or fellowship to pay her tuition and other expenses. She accepted an offer from Atlanta University. She earned her master's degree in mathematics education in about 1963. Mrs. Corrothers secured a job teaching mathematics in the Little Rock School System before moving to Little Rock in 1963.
Mrs. Corrothers leaves to mourn her passing, children: Attorney Kathryn C. Fitzhugh (Attorney B. Dewey Fitzhugh), Jerry Corrothers (Valencia), and Attorney Garry Corrothers, Sr. (Donna); grandchildren: Tina Smalley, Attorney Erica Fitzhugh-Tollette (Sanford), Garry Corrothers, Jr., and Sean Corrothers; great-grandchildren: Jasmine Thomas and Mason Newman-Corrothers; nephews: Charles McDowell (Idell) and Don McDowell.
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