UPDATE: Funeral services will be held May 5 at 11 a.m. at New Bethel AME Church. Visitation is May 4 from noon to 5:30 p.m. at Betsey Funeral Home in Quincy.
Sam Betsey Jr., a former educator and businessman, died Monday afternoon at his home.
Betsey, 80, owned and operated Betsey Funeral Home, along with his wife Gertrude, in Quincy for 46 years.
"He was some kind of gentleman. He was kind and smart and he helped so many people. Young men and women may have become better by knowing Sam Betsey," said Robert Bryant, longtime friend and former coworker.
Betsey was a science teacher in the public schools of Gadsden County from 1956 until he retired in 1984.
"He gave of this time and resources. I don't know of a person who had more Christian ethics than Mr. Betsey," Bryant said.
Betsey had suffered from medical problems in the past 2 years but still operated the funeral home.
On Monday afternoon Harry Holt, Betsey's cousin and fellow church member, said he stopped by the house to give Betsey and his wife a gift certificate for two to lunch. Betsey, he said, was sitting in a chair and asked him to leave them on the porch.
Holt said Betsey said he didn't feel like getting up to get the deadbolt key.
"We talked briefly and I left. I intended (to come) back (that night)," Holt said.
He said Betsey treated people the way he want to be treated with dignity and respect.
One of Betsey's former students, Avonette Henry, said Betsey attended the Class of 1964's reunion banquet Saturday night, where he was honored as a class sponsor.
At press time, funeral arrangements were incomplete. Check www.gadcotimes.com for more details.