YOU REMEMBER that girl you knew in high school? You know, the pretty one who was smarter, more social and more active than anyone else. There might be a touch of envy in your recollection, but she was the one you can't forget.
Meet Betty Butler.
"During her school years, she became known as the smart, pretty girl who could read, write and talk circles around anyone," her family said. "She devoured books and loved learning."
Elizabeth McCormick, as she became after marrying Steven McCormick, carried those traits through a life of action and creativity.
She worked 22 years for the Philadelphia School District as coordinator and senior producer for PSTV Channel 52, the district's television station, and later as director of cable-TV programs and instructional media.
Betty died Friday of cancer. She was 58 and lived in East Oak Lane.
The job with the district was an ideal one for Betty because one of her passions was to do all she could to develop the full potential of young people. She mentored many students interested in pursuing careers in television as interns.
"While at PSTV, she enriched the lives of countless students and teachers by producing dynamic television, telecourses and professional development programs," her family said.
Betty's niece, Frances Howard, ran out of adjectives trying to describe her aunt - "vivacious, ambitious, independent, feisty" were some she came up with.
Frances also made it clear that her aunt did not suffer fools lightly. "She was no pushover," she said. Betty was good at meting out what Frances called "creative criticism" when called for.
Betty was also passionate about her church, Mount Airy Church of God in Christ, where she was baptized and was always available for whatever needed to be done.
She was born in Philadelphia, the youngest of the four children of Clarence and Laura Butler. She grew up in North Philadelphia and, after her marriage to the late Steven McCormick, moved to East Oak Lane.
"Back in the 'old neighborhood,' Betty was known for her precociousness and for being the little sister of 'Bus,' her brother, Clarence Butler Jr.," her family said.
Betty graduated with honors from Overbrook High School in 1972, and went on to Temple University, where she majored in television, radio and film. She received a bachelor's degree from the School of Communications and Theater in January 1982.
She had to work her way through college, but found the time to become involved in a number of student organizations. Betty was also active in civil-rights causes and pursued a deep interest in and study of black history.
Besides her brother and niece, she is survived by a sister, Sarah Johnson.