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Charlotte, NC - Bette Rae Thomas, namesake of the Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center, passed away on Monday, Oct. 24. She was 82.

Thomas was born in Charlotte on Feb. 11, 1929, daughter of William Raymond and Juanita Blanche Horton Thomas.

She attended Charlotte public schools and was a graduate of the Florniece Private School. She completed a Medical Secretarial Course at Kings Business College, graduated from Wingate Junior College and was the honor graduate of the class of 1950 from Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing, having received the General Excellency Award in Theory and Practice and the Moore-Petteway Award for further study in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She did her post graduate work at the University of Chicago Clinic's Lying-in-Hospital.

Thomas was a tireless advocate for the community serving for many years as coordinator of the Enderly Park Neighborhood Association. Neighbors often referred to her as "Miss Bette." She spent countless hours lobbying Charlotte City Council and the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners for neighborhood improvements and enhanced park facilities.

Neighbors petitioned the Park and Recreation Commission to name the center in her honor. The center was dedicated Oct. 13, 2005.

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