Bettie S. Coleman, a retired music educator who taught piano and vocal music, died Saturday of heart failure at her Edgemere home. She was 77.
Bettie Statham was born in Sparrows Point, the daughter of a steelworker.
"There were seven children in the family, and six of us played piano," said a brother, Calvin H. Statham, who directed the Statham Gospel Singers. "Our parents also insisted that we go to college and get both a bachelor's and master's degree, and we all did."
Mrs. Coleman was a 1947 graduate of Bragg High School in Sparrows Point and earned a bachelor's in music from what is now Morgan State University in 1951. She earned a master's degree from Loyola College.
Mrs. Coleman began her teaching career in 1951 at Somerset High School in Princess Anne and later joined the faculty at Crisfield High School.
From 1955 to 1970, she taught music at Wiley H. Bates High School in Annapolis. She then taught at Pasadena Middle School until taking a position teaching music at Dundalk Middle School in 1967. She retired in 1981.
"She received great satisfaction pursuing her career, and her students throughout Sparrows Point and Turners Station spoke highly and reverently about her ability and leadership," her brother said.
In 1965, she married John Coleman, a steelworker, who died in 2007.
Mrs. Coleman was a lifelong member of Union Baptist Church, 105 Main St., Turners Station, where services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Also surviving are another brother, Mack C. Statham of Laurel; and many nieces and nephews.