Obituary – Betsy Quarles Emerson Sartor

Published 12:00 pm Monday, March 25, 2019

Betsy Quarles Emerson Sartor, 84, of Oxford, Mississippi, passed peacefully at her Blake Apartment on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. Visitation was at noon in West Hall of Waller Funeral Home on Saturday, March 23rd at 1 p.m. at Waller Funeral Home. Rev. Robert Allen officiated. Graveside service was at 3:30 p.m. in Center Hill Baptist Church Cemetery in Hamilton, Mississippi, where her son and husband were laid to rest. 


Mrs. Sartor was the widow of Mr. William Sartor, Sr., a longtime Oxford resident, faithful member of First Baptist Church, Friendship Sunday School Class and founding supporter of the Gertrude Ford Center for Preforming Arts. Betsy was born in Hernando, Mississippi, to Robbie Herron Sanders and Angus Leslie Emerson, Jr., on May 22, 1934. She enjoyed singing, swimming, running track, basketball, cheerleading and volunteering at the library. Betsy loved growing up in Hernando and would frequently return for social events with her Hernando High School graduating class of 1952. She attended Mississippi College in Clinton where she studied education and voice, was a library clerk, contralto soloist with the Mississippi College Ladies Ensemble, Touring Choir, and First Baptist Church soloist. She came to Ole Miss in January of 1955, where she worked in the Mississippi Room of the J.D. Williams Library assisting patrons with Faulkner’s works published in multiple languages. She graduated Ole Miss with her B.A. in Education and a Minor in Library Science. While at Ole Miss she met her husband Bill, a swim coach and education major as well. They married and moved to Natchez, Hazelhurst, Yazoo City, Jackson, Meridian, Winona and Alexandria, Louisiana, before returning to Oxford in 1971.

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Betsy taught first grade at Bruce for several years before teaching at Marks where she and Bill commuted and retired together in 1991. They enjoyed their life together and shared a faith in God that lead them to a life of ministering to others. Betsy hosted monthly prayer meetings, was active in the Gideon’s Auxiliary ministry, taught Sunday School, Training Union, Girls Auxiliary, and Bible School. She had a love for growing flowers, especially mum varieties. In fact, she was a blue-ribbon recipient in The National Chrysanthemum Society in every town she ever lived. She also loved writing letters to friends and family and faithfully sent cards to her church family on their birthdays each year. In her later years she ministered to those who came to care for her and leaves behind a large group of friends, family and caretakers that will miss her dearly. 


She is survived by her brother, Rev. Angus L. Emerson, III and her first cousin, Dr. Peggy Emerson, both of Oxford; one son, William Sartor Jr. and Rebecca of Mooreville, Mississippi; two daughters, Beth James and Walt of Mary Ester, Florida; Harriet Gorove and Stephen of Oxford; six grandsons, Veazey Powell, Devin James and Samantha, William James, Barret James, Henry Sartor and David James; three great-grandchildren; Noah, Ezra and Ella James. Betsy was preceded in death by her infant son, John Emerson Sartor.


The family would like to express their sincere love and appreciation to the staff of Baptist Hospice and The Blake of Oxford. 


Memorial contributions in Mrs. Sartor’s memory may be given to The First Baptist Church, 800 Van Buren Ave, Oxford, MS 38655 or The Gertrude Castellow Ford Center for the Performing Arts, 351 University Ave, Oxford, MS 38655.


For additional information or to sign an online guestbook, please visit our website at or call 662-234-7971.