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Beverly Elizabeth Gray Tuttle Zollman


One hundred-year-old Beverly Elizabeth Gray Tuttle Zollman of Safety Harbor, Florida went to heaven to live with the Lord on July 11, 2019 after a brief illness of congestive heart failure. She was born in Youngstown, Ohio on January 21, 1919.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Hallie and Hazel Gray, her sisters Lenore Gray, Jackie Gray Davies, Ginger Gray Buckner, and Jeannie Gray Wilson, her brother Jim Gray, her beloved husband Bob Tuttle, her beloved daughter Bobbie Ann Tuttle Burns, her son-in-law Junior Burns, her granddaughter Rebecca Burns, her grandsons Robby Burns and Danny Burns, her grandson-in-law David Yates, and her second husband Lloyd Zollman. She was also preceded in death by all of her lifelong friends.

She is survived by her sisters Ruth Gray Card of Celeste, Texas, and Valda Gray Noble of Lowellville, Ohio, granddaughters Debbie Burns Yates (David-deceased) of Birmingham, Alabama, Teri Burns (Shawnee Fox) of Safety Harbor, Florida, Kathie Loomis Burns (Robby’s widow) of New Port Richey, Florida, and Corelynn Carr Burns Howell (Danny’s widow) of New Port Richey, Florida. She also leaves behind 10 great grandchildren (as well as some of their spouses) living throughout Florida, Alabama, and Maryland: Roger Burns, Lee McKinney, Rebecca McKinney Quinn, Amy Burns Creighbaum, Martie Burns Harris, Bobbie Burns Gatewood, Phillip Burns, Courtney Burns, Danny Burns, Jr., Lexi Roy and 2 step great-grandsons. Beverly also leaves behind 25 great-great grandchildren (which includes 7 step great-great grandchildren), as well as many, many nieces and nephews. She also leaves behind many friends, neighbors, and community members she met in her later years in life.

Beverly’s greatest joy in life was her relationship with the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She spent countless hours every day in prayer and study of the Bible. In her younger days, she loved working with children, and was a Sunday School teacher and Vacation Bible School teacher, and held many volunteer positions related to the church and community.

Family viewing for this wonderful woman will begin on Friday, July 19, 2019 at 9:30 am and open viewing will be from 10:00 am to 11:00 am at the First Baptist Church in Safety Harbor located at 525 14th Avenue South, Safety Harbor, Florida 34695. Services will be held in the Chapel immediately after the viewing from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm. Immediately following the service, everyone will go to Sylvan Abbey Cemetery (no organized funeral procession) located at 2853 Sunset Point Road, Clearwater, Florida 33759. Beverly will be laid to rest next to her beloved husband, Bob Tuttle, in the Sunrise Gardens Sector of Sylvan Abbey Cemetery.

 

SHORT BIOGRAPHY & MISCELLANEOUS MEMORIES OF BEVERLY ELIZABETH GRAY TUTTLE ZOLLMAN (GRAM) WRITTEN BY BEVERLY’S OLDEST GRANDDAUGHTER,
DEBORAH ELIZABETH BURNS (MCKINNEY) YATES

Beverly Elizabeth Gray Tuttle Zollman was born to Halie James Gray and Hazel Ann Cox Gray on January 21, 1919. She was the oldest of 8 children: Beverly Elizabeth Gray (“Betty”) (January 21, 1919) Margaret Virginia Gray (“Ginger”) (March 4, 1920) Hazel LeNora (“Lenore”) Gray (November 9, 1921) Hallie Jean Gray (“Jeannie”) (July 24, 1923) Jacqueline Ann Gray (“Jackie”) (May 3, 1925) Ruth Eloise Gray (“Ruthie”) (April 20, 1928) Valda Rae Gray (February 14, 1934), James Gordon Gray (“Jimmy”) (September 5, 1938).

Her sister, Lenore, died suddenly of pneumonia at the age of 14 months on January 10, 1923, shortly before Beverly’s 4th birthday.

Beverly was born in the home of her grandparents (her mother’s parents), Margaret Abagail Edie Trout Cox and Samuel Cox, on Landsdowne Boulevard, in Youngstown, Ohio. She remembers those grandparents, but her father’s parents died when she was very young…Her grandfather Gray died when she was just 3 months old, and her grandmother Gray died when she was 2 years old. She was not their first grandchild, as her uncle, Ormond Gray (her father’s oldest brother), had at least one son when she was born. But for the Cox side of the family, Beverly was the first grandchild.

At some point early in Beverly’s life, people started calling her “Betty”, and that was the name she went by for most of the rest of her life. Betty went to Thorn Grade School in nearby Scienceville, Ohio, and then on to Scienceville High School. When Betty was 16 years old, she met the love of her life…His name was Robert Elmer Tuttle (born May 18, 1915 in Ohio or Pennsylvania), and he was known by everyone as “Bob”. His parents were Elmer Vincent Tuttle and Minnie Nina “Minna” Wright Tuttle.

Betty and Bob wanted to get married, but Betty’s parents disapproved of her getting married until she graduated from high school. So, like her own parents did, Betty and Bob eloped. They had planned to elope on February 18, 1936 – with the knowledge and approval of Bob’s parents – but circumstances prevented that from happening. So Bob went on to work that day, and Betty spent the day at Bob’s parent’s house, then she returned home that evening as if she had been in school all day. But exactly one week later, on February 25, 1936, they followed through with their plan and eloped to ??? and got married. Betty’s parents – especially her father – were heartbroken and angry, and stayed angry with her for some time.

Betty and Bob lived with Bob’s parents for the first 3 months of their marriage, then they moved into her grandparents (Cox’s) house after their deaths. Her grandmother Cox had died May 21, 1935, and her grandfather Cox had died September 12, 1935. This was the same house on Landsdowne Boulevard, in Youngstown, Ohio, where Betty was born. The house was a large house, and there happened to be an old kitchen with two adjoining rooms that were not being used by the family that was living there. (That family was Betty’s Aunt Helen and her husband Harry, and their children. Her Aunt Helen was her grandparents’ youngest daughter.) Betty and Bob renovated those three rooms, and Betty painted the entire kitchen red. They had to pay $4.00 a month for rent, and were very proud of their little place. At some point, Helen and Harry moved to a small house in Scienceville, which they rented from someone. Another family then moved into the section of the Cox’s house where Helen and Harry had lived – probably another one of the Cox’s daughters and her family. But Betty and Bob continued living in their little area and continued paying their monthly rent.

On November 30, 1936 – just 9 months and 5 days after Betty and Bob got married, while Betty was still 17 years old, Betty gave birth to their first and only child, Beverly Ann Tuttle. Betty and Bob’s house did not have a bathroom nor running water. So, Betty’s mother insisted that she needed to take care of Betty for the last week or two of the pregnancy, and since her mother refused to stay for that length of time in a house without running water, Betty and Bob stayed at her parents’ home on Atkinson Avenue in Youngstown, Ohio, where their daughter, Beverly, was born. Dr. Warnock delivered the baby, and then Betty was kept in bed for 10 days to 2 weeks – as was the custom then. So Betty’s parents got to fully enjoy their first grandchild.

At some point, people thought baby Beverly really resembled her father, Bob, and Betty’s Aunt Grace dubbed her “Little Bob”. From that point on, baby Beverly Ann Tuttle became known as “Bobbie Ann”, and that is what she was called for her entire life. (Betty’s Aunt Grace was her grandmother Cox’s oldest daughter from her first marriage to a man named A. Jackson Trout.)

Betty was head-over-heels in love with Bobbie Ann, and always made sure she was the perfect little lady. They did “girl stuff” together all the time.

The small family continued to stay at Betty’s grandparents’ house until they moved to a small house in Scienceville, which they rented. It happened to be the same house that Betty’s Aunt Helen and Uncle Harry had been renting until they found a larger house and moved out.

So Betty and Bob and Bobbie Ann were living on their own for the very first time, but not long after they began renting the house, the owners decided to sell it. There was a grocery store across the street from the house, and the grocery store owners wanted desperately to buy and move into that house. The owner of the house told Betty and Bob that he would sell it to the first person to come up with $1,000.00 down payment. Betty and Bob had $500.00 saved up, and were able to borrow the other $500.00, so they bought the little house, much to the chagrin of the grocery store owners.

While they were still living in the Scienceville house, Bob’s father, Elmer Vincent Tuttle (born May 19, 1890), died of a massive heart attack on December 2, 1946. Betty & Bob; Bobbie Ann went to Florida to stay with Bob’s mother, Minnie Nina (“Minna”) Wright Tuttle (born June19, 1893 – died of old age June 18, 1989) for a month to help her in her time of grief, then Betty, Bob, and Bobbie Ann went back to Scienceville. After a while, Betty & Bob decided to go back to Florida, so they rented out their house to someone and headed back to Florida. They lived in Florida for a short time, and moved back to Scienceville once again for a brief time. Then they decided to live in Florida permanently. So they moved down there when Bobbie Ann was nearing 11 years old, and moved in with Bob’s mother. Bob’s mother had two women living with her (friends from when she lived in California), helping her out emotionally and financially since the death of her husband (Bob’s father). She asked the two women to move out so Bob, Betty, and Bobbie Ann could move in. The little family lived with her for about two years before they rented a house somewhere. But not long after that, they found and rented a house on Madison Avenue (which they ended up buying). Betty’s mother, Hazel Gray, then rented a house right next door to them. Both of the houses referred to on Madison Avenue were found through Junior Burns from Harold Blackard (whoever Harold is). Junior was Bobbie Ann’s boyfriend at the time, and he was a housebuilder, even though he was only in his mid-teens. A short time later, Betty & Bob sold the house on Madison Avenue and bought a house on Michigan Avenue, which is where they lived when Bobbie Ann and Junior got married.

Bobbie Ann was only 15 years old when she married Junior Burns (Clarence Edgar Burns, Jr., who was born June 30, 1934). Bobbie Ann had threatened to elope, so Betty & Bob agreed to let Bobbie Ann & Junior get married. Betty made Bobbie Ann’s wedding dress, as well as all of her bridesmaid’s dresses, and Bobbie Ann & Junior were married on April 13, 1952.

Betty & Bob paid a down payment on a used trailer for Bobbie Ann & Junior, where they lived (in a trailer park) until the house next door to Betty & Bob on Michigan Avenue came up for rent, and then they moved into it. When Bobbie Ann & Junior had been married for 10 months, their first child, Robby, was born while they were living in the rented house on Michigan Avenue. A bit later, a bigger house on the other side of them became available to rent, so Bobbie Ann, Junior, and Robby moved into it.

When Robby was 7 months old, Betty’s father, Halie Gray (born January 26, 1899), died on September 13, 1953 due to uremic poisoning from kidney failure, diabetes, and colon cancer.

Over the years, Betty had many joys, starting with the births of her grandkids:
Robby – Robert Edgar Burns (February 14, 1953)
Debbie – Deborah Elizabeth Burns (March 25, 1954)
Danny – Daniel Haley Burns (September 3, 1955)
Becky – Rebecca Ann Burns (June 26, 1958)
Teri – Teri Lynn Burns (September 1, 1959)

Betty doted on her grandkids, and spoiled them rotten. She celebrated their achievements throughout their lives, and she welcomed their spouses into the family.

Robby married Kathie Lynn Loomis on June 12, 1970. Debbie married Leamon McKinney on April 24, 1971 (but divorced him on October 15, 1981, and even though Betty thought divorce was not right, she understood.) Debbie married David Yates on October 15, 1992. Danny married Joyce Bishop (and later divorced her), then married Corelynn Carr on February 15, 1986. Teri partnered with Shawnee Fox in 2005.

Betty was thrilled when her grandkids had kids, and when their kids had kids. She loved them all dearly, and was proud (not sinful-proud, mind you) of each and every one of them.

Betty worked at quite a few different jobs during her younger years to help support herself and her family. Then from around 1952 through 1960, Betty was a personal assistant/caregiver/cook/maid/secretary to Frederick and Elizabeth Balch. She managed to take care of the Balch family every single day and attend Trinity College at the same time. She graduated with a theology degree in the early 1960s. In the mid-to-late 1960s, she attained a nursing degree. She supported herself and her second husband, Lloyd Zollman, for many years (until her retirement) working as a nurse in a hospital, for a local blood bank, and as a private duty nurse, and she loved it all, especially private duty.

But Betty had many heartaches also: In addition to the deaths of her loved ones already mentioned throughout this biography, her granddaughter, Becky, died when she was not quite 2 full days old on June 28, 1958. Her husband, Bob, died suddenly of a massive heart attack at 47 years of age on December 7, 1962. Her son-in-law, Junior, died suddenly of a massive heart attack at 45 years of age on February 18, 1980. Her mother, Hazel Ann Cox Gray (born January 9, 1900), died on January 9, 1985 (her 85th birthday), due to complications from carotid artery disease. Her grandson-in-law, David Yates, died at 53 years of age on November 18, 1996. Her beloved daughter, Bobbi Ann, died at 60 years of age on June 14, 1997. Her grandson, Robby, died at 59 years of age on April 20, 2012. Then, 16 days later, her brother Jimmy died on May 6, 2012. Her grandson, Danny, died at 58 years of age on November 24, 2013. She was also heartbroken at the deaths of her sisters Ginger, Jeannie, and Jackie, as well as many lifelong friends, throughout the years.

Betty married Lloyd Zollman on March 20, 1964, and had a happy marriage for about the first 6 months. She was miserable being married to him, and she lived with the heartache of this marriage until his death in 2002.

But nothing dampened Betty’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Betty lived a clean, wholesome life, and the Lord rewarded His faithful servant with over 100 years on this earth. And we, who will mourn her death for many years to come, have been blessed to know her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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