Cover photo for Betty Ruth (Goose) Burchfield's Obituary
Betty Ruth (Goose) Burchfield Profile Photo
1936 Betty 2020

Betty Ruth (Goose) Burchfield

July 10, 1936 — February 17, 2020

Betty Ruth “Little Reb” Burchfield, age 83, passed gently into the sweet arms of Jesus on February 17, 2019 to join her beloved ones who passed before her.  Betty was joyfully born to Will Ellen and Buford R. Burchfield, both now deceased, in Birmingham, AL on July 10 and was their first glorious child.

Betty was a spirited lady, who received her perfect nickname “Little Reb” from an elderly lady when Betty lived for a time in Utah. The name stuck and her parents always said, “Betty will be Betty”.  A friend bought her a gift of an actual heavenly star, which was more appropriate than she knew.  Betty was a star who loved to be the center of attention and did gain fame as a porcelain doll maker and an acclaimed portrait artist.  Her delight was to have painted the portrait of the celebrity, Dr. Phil McGraw and his wife, Robin. Always showing her great sense of humor, she asked him if he wanted any changes made to the painting and then added with a chuckle that she could paint him in some hair if he liked.

Betty wrote articles for Doll Crafter and Dollmaking Magazines and was acclaimed for her skills.  In fact, her nearly four foot tall porcelain Debbie Doll, named for and made in her daughter’s likeness appeared on the cover of one.  She sculpted and painted her dolls’ faces in the same manner as her portraits.  She duplicated brides and their dresses showing the same exquisite detail as in the actual brides’ gowns.  So much joy was given to many with her beautiful dolls.

Above all, she was kind to everyone she met and always believed in lifting up others through encouragement and praise.  Through her art and doll making classes, she encouraged and taught others to paint and many baby dolls were “born” to aspiring doll maker students.

Betty was raised and lived in Birmingham for a great part of her life.  She graduated from Phillips High School. Later in life, she settled in Madison, AL surrounded by two of her children, their families and many friends who affectionately called her “Goose”.

Her home-going leaves a deep sadness in the hearts of her family and friends who survived her:  brother and sister-in law, Buford R. and Amanda Burchfield, Lexington, KY; sister and brother-in law, Midge (Mildred) and Wes Detwiler, Gainesville, GA;  daughter and son-in-law, Deborah and Rhodes Russler, Madison; son, Donald C. Steelman, Madison; son and daughter-in-law, Ronny and Carol Jones, Talladega; son and daughter-in law, Dr. Kenneth and Brenda Jones, Livingston; granddaughter, Josee Bradford Steelman, Madison;  granddaughter and her husband, Jessie and Travis Cawthorne, Charlotte, NC; granddaughter, Jamie Augustine, South Lyon, MI; granddaughter, Madison Henrich, Florence, AL; grandson and his wife, Patrick and Emma Jones, Lincoln; grandson, Phillip Jones, Talladega; grandson and wife, Stu and Sydney Russler, Atlanta, GA; granddaughter, Emmie Russler, Madison; grandson, Nick Jones, Gulf Breeze, FL; grandson, Ethan Jones, Gulf Breeze, FL; great-grandchildren, little Jaxon and Amelia Jones, Lincoln; and nieces and nephew: Christine Adams, Buford, GA; Beth Degler, Lexington, KY; and Wesley Detwiler II, Cumming, GA.

Betty was preceded in death by her beloved son, David Wilson Steelman, Jr. age 46.

Nothing would honor Betty more than to love each other and find laughter in everything.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Ruth (Goose) Burchfield, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, February 22, 2020

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Legacy Chapel Funeral Home and Crematory

16 Hughes Rd, Madison, AL 35758

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Funeral Service

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Legacy Chapel Funeral Home and Crematory

16 Hughes Rd, Madison, AL 35758

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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