Columbus family remembers longtime MCSD educator who died from COVID-19

Updated: Aug. 19, 2020 at 11:21 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A Columbus family is remembering a longtime educator with the Muscogee County School District who died from COVID-19 this past weekend.

71-year-old Dr. Betty Jean McBride, known as BJ, passed away Saturday. However, the battle with COVID-19 is not over for the McBride family.

Demetrius McBride is reflecting on the legacy of his mother who was hospitalized August 4 for COVID-19 and died this past weekend. He said she was polite and kind, but very disciplined.

“Her heart was always in giving back to others,” Demetrius McBride said.

Dr. McBride worked for the Muscogee County School District for 41 years in various roles, including as a teacher and a counselor. She also oversaw the district’s social workers and the “Safe and Drug Free Schools” program. Demetrius McBride said she served as the Georgia Counselor president at one point as well.

“She was a mother to every last one of her students, anybody she came in contact with,” he said. “Even co-workers now are telling me that they felt like she was a mother figure to them or even a sister figure.”

Her son hopes the community remembers his mom as a servant.

“A lot of people say servant leader. She was a leader in a lot of aspects, but she led because she served,” Demetrius McBride said.

He said Dr. McBride was still thinking of others during what he calls one of her hardest battles.

”While she’s in the hospital fighting for her life, she had my wife [get] Amazon gifts to her brother, her sisters to make sure they got their birthday gifts,” he said.

Dr. McBride’s husband, son, and his wife all tested positive for COVID-19 within three days of each other. Demetirus McBride and his wife have since recovered, but Dr. McBride’s husband is in ICU.

“We know that she served her community. She served in the school board. She served in the church and God told her it was job well done, time to come home and rest. So now, we’re going to continue to have faith as a family. We’re going to continue to walk with God as a family,” said Demetrius McBride.

He said his parents had a love story until the end.

“When I was calling to check on both of them in the hospital, my mom was asking how my dad is doing. My dad is asking how my mom is doing. I put them on three-way together and they’d talk for 10 to 15 minutes until their energy kind of faded out,” he said.

Dr. McBride’s funeral is this Saturday. As of Wednesday afternoon, her son said his dad is still too weak to attend the funeral. If his dad is still too sick in the next few days to attend, he said he is going to make sure his dad has a tablet at the hospital so he can live stream the service.

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