Lilburn, GA Elizabeth "Betty" Samsel Woolbright died of natural causes on February 10, 2021 in Stone Mountain , GA. She was born on April 15, 1925 in Evanston, IL, a suburb of Chicago, where her father, Richard C. Samsel, served as Dean of Law at LaSalle University. She was proud of her grandmother, Ella Warren's descent from a Mayflower family, and her mother, Lucy Rose Richmond's Harvard education as well as her ancestry from the Earl of Richmond whose family emigration to the new world apparently resulted from difficulties related to the War of the Roses. A child star in local Chicago theater, Betty earned a full scholarship to Northwestern University where she graduated with a major in Theater, and she frequently told of collegiate antics involving various contemporaries including Buddy Hackett and Cloris Leachman. After graduation she moved to Schenectady, NY where she acted on GE's WRGB experimental live television station as a regular on the program "Life with the Websters." While in Schenectady she met her future husband, Lawrence L. Woolbright, who at the time was working for an Atlanta company subcontracting with GE. After their marriage in 1951, Betty and Larry settled in Georgia and had three sons. In 1964 the family moved to Jonesboro, GA. Betty stayed home until the kids were in school and then worked as a public school teacher at West Clayton Elementary School in Riverdale until she retired. After her parents retired to the Samsel family farm in the foothills of East Tennessee in 1954, Betty and her siblings met there with their families every summer and many Thanksgiving and Easter breaks for years, leading to a strong bond among their offspring that continues to this day. In retirement she enjoyed travels, including Hawai'i, a cruise down the Volga in Russia, and a Richmond Family reunion in England with her sister, Rose. She was also an avid bridge player and active in her church as treasurer and choir member. Volunteer work included serving as president of "Samaritans Together for Clayton County", a county- wide interfaith organization that pooled funds from local churches to provide financial and prescription drug assistance to the needy. Betty was predeceased by her parents, her brother Warren Samsel of Pittsfield MA, her sister Rose Baring of Golden CO, and her husband of 50 years. She is survived by her sons Larry (Meg) of Ballston Spa NY, Rick (Jan) of Locust Grove GA, and Jim (Kim) of Lilburn GA, two granddaughters, nine great grandchildren, and by several nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly.
There will be no calling hours. A memorial service will be held after the pandemic. Condolences may be sent to 725 Frog Road, Locust Grove, GA 30248. Anyone wishing to make gifts in her memory, should consider Samaritans Together for Clayton County, 1000 Main St., Forest Park GA 30297. Ford-Stewart Funeral Home, Inc., Jonesboro/Stockbridge 770-210-2700. fordstewartfuneralhome.com