A native Washingtonian, Betty Ann Clifford Freeman
was born on August 13, 1932, the only child of Ruth Moore Clifford and Alvin Clifford. Betty Ann’s grandfather, the Reverend Dr. Nathaniel Thomas Moore was the founder of Peace Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. Following in the line of her family’s devotion to God, Betty Ann became a faithful member of Calvary Episcopal Church. Though illness prevented her active attendance in recent years, Betty Ann lived her life in spiritual focus, by virtue of her compassion for those less fortunate than herself.
Raised in the Kingman Park/Benning Road area of Washington, Betty Ann attended Charles Young Elementary School, Brown Junior High School, and Dunbar Senior High School. As a child Betty Ann suffered from frequent asthma attacks, but she never let that stop her from enjoying life, including annual summer trips to Atlantic City, N.J. with first cousins Ruth and Doris. Betty Ann, Ruth, and Doris considered themselves to be the Three Musketeers. They spent a great deal of time on various adventures of good-spirited camaraderie throughout their youth.
Betty Ann continued her education at D.C. Teacher’s College where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree. Later she went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in preparation for a long and distinguished career (over 35 years) as a teacher and later as a counselor in the D.C. Public Schools. Betty Ann was also a proud member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, a sorority committed to education and community service.
Travel and the arts were additional sources of education and personal enjoyment for Betty Ann. Throughout most of her life, she enjoyed travel within the United States and abroad. She especially delighted in her trips to the Bahamas, as well as to Italy and Spain. Betty Ann’s love of music was eclectic, her favorites including the likes of Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan and Barbara Streisand. She was a frequent patron of the variety of artists performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. And, she was a jazz enthusiast, having patronized a variety of local jazz establishments over the years. Betty Ann also loved literature and had quite an extensive home library. A true educator, Betty Ann considered herself to be a life-long learner who relished opportunities to read, travel and appreciate the arts.
Betty Ann was a beautiful, intelligent and free-spirited person. She took pride in setting her own course in life, acting independently and standing by her own convictions. Those who knew her well, admired the fact that Betty Ann was down-to-earth and had a familiar sense of humor. Although she was a very private person, Betty Ann enjoyed welcoming friends and family to her home, which she had decorated in grand style. Having excellent taste and a knowledge of fine art allowed Betty Ann to incorporate various artistic renderings into her home’s décor. In doing this, her apartment became a sanctuary of beauty, soft colors and fine design. This inviting space was accentuated with collectibles, paintings and plants, all of which had the effect of making Betty Ann’s home, like herself, warm and welcoming.
Betty Ann was a long-time resident of the Van Ness Apartment complex in northwest Washington, until her death on October 9, 2018. Betty Ann is survived by first cousins, Dr. Doris Woodson, of Palm Coast, FL, Dr. Judy Sundayo of La Jolla, CA, and Ms. Thomasia Poppia Moore, of Washington, D.C. She is also survived by her close friend and confidant of over forty years, Mr. Bruce Williams, of Washington, D.C., along with a host of other relatives and friends. Betty Ann was a blessing to everyone who knew her. She will be dearly remembered and greatly missed.
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