Betty Calhoun Bullman

Obituary of Betty Jean Calhoun Bullman

Betty Jean Calhoun Bullman, 89, peacefully passed to the arms of our Lord on Saturday, September 17, 2022.  Born on June 3, 1933 in Johnson City, TN;  she was the daughter of the late Thomas William Calhoun (of Newland, NC) and Minnie Pearl Scott Calhoun (of Johnson City, TN).  Betty is predeceased by her husband of almost 60 years, retired Sergeant Major Dewey Bullman, Jr. (of Spartanburg, SC)  and her brothers:  Thomas William Calhoun, Jr (of Newport News, VA), Jack O’Brian Calhoun (of Reidsville, NC), and Billy Eugene Calhoun (of Pasadena, TX).

Betty is survived by her daughters, Diana Bullman Riley (Jason Riley) and Lisa Bullman McNeil; granddaughters Ashley Lara Hinson and Rebecca Hinson Mathews (Foster Mathews); great-grandchildren Lucas Still Rader, Connor Reid Sharpe, Reagan Leigh Mathews, and Kennedy Calhoun Mathews; nephew Larry William Calhoun; great-niece Dawn Quigley (Lance Quigley and family) and great-nephew Larry William Calhoun, Jr (and family); and we can’t overlook her lap puppy Brewster, a Maltipoo who stayed by her side to the very end.

Raised in Johnson City until the beginning of WWII,  at the age of 9 she moved with her family to Hampton Roads, VA where her father worked in the shipyards.  After graduation from Warwick High School, she began her work as a purchasing agent at Fort Eustis.  It was here that a clandestine meeting took place, Dewey was assigned to a military training school on helicopters and a mutual friend introduced them.  Betty and Dewey married 3 months later and a 60 year love story began. 

Her love of music, art and dance propelled her to study in her free time - she played the piano, organ, and both the lap and hammered dulcimer; she excelled in charcoal drawing and oil and acrylic painting - winning many first place ribbons for her talent; she also learned ballroom dancing and taught with the Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Virginia.  Not only was she accomplished in all these areas, she shared her talents by teaching others.  

Betty kept active in her personal life- she was a member of Shandon Presbyterian Church, Columbia, since 1960 and over the years she served as Sunday school teacher, ambassador, usher, and an active member and leader in the Shandon Prayer Shawl Ministry.  She was also an active member of the Jamil Temple Ladies Auxiliary for 30 years, hosting fundraiser bazaars for the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital; and served as the treasurer of the neighborhood homeowners association, initiating several positive updates to the neighborhood including a front entrance sign and lighting.

Most knew her as Mrs. Bullman or Betty, but we knew her as Moma and Gram.  With a giant smile and a huge heart, Moma’s kindness spread to everyone she met.  She was a mother to all of our friends, helped with hundreds of school projects over the years, sewed prom dresses, served as homeroom mother, PTA president, and Brownie leader.  Moma loved crafting and sewing and was always eager to try a new pattern, a new type of yarn and new paint brushes.  Our most recent endeavor was quilting and Moma helped us make our first quilt that will be treasured forever.  Dad introduced Moma and us to camping in 1970, beginning with a tiny pop-up all the way to a 5th-wheel, Moma made camping a home-away-from-home.

With a loving hand, Moma taught us the value of strong Chritian morals, to always be a lady and to have high standards for ourselves.  As her daughters, our goal was to always emulate our Moma - she was the gold standard.

We want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Amedisys Hospice caregivers and her private caregiver, Ms. Sandra Harrell.  As the Lewy body dementia progressed, they made Moma’s final months very comfortable, always looking out for her best interest with a smile and gentle touch.  Her passing has left an enormous void, but she is now perfect with our Lord, and Moma will always remain with us in her words of wisdom and the life she led.

Services will be held at the pavilion, Fort Jackson National Cemetery on Monday, October 3 at 11:00 a.m.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation, team ‘Walk for Betty”  - the family will be walking in memory of and to honor Moma at the annual 2022 Walk to End Alzheimer’s fundraiser on October 8, 2022.

Website to donate:

Thompson Funeral Home, Leesburg Road, Columbia is assisting the family.


Memorial Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Monday, October 3, 2022
Fort Jackson National Cemetery Pavilion
4170 Percival Road
Columbia, South Carolina, United States
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