Bette Brackenridge Groat, a former chair of occupational therapy in the School of Health Related Professions, died Dec. 21. She was 72.
A native of Douglas, Michigan, Groat was valedictorian of the Saugatuck High School Class of 1964 and initially attended Ferris State College, where she majored in industrial chemistry. She subsequently earned her degree in occupational therapy at Texas Women's University, Denton.
She began her occupational therapy career at Cleveland General Hospital before moving to the Occupational Therapy Department at Emory University. She joined the occupational therapy faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, then in 1988, she accepted a position in the new Occupational Therapy Department at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
She spent the majority of her career in the School of Health Related Professions, teaching students and mentoring faculty, and had an enormous impact on occupational therapy in the state of Mississippi.
Her funeral took place Dec. 28 in Fort Payne, Alabama. A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi. In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to support a scholarship named in her honor for occupational therapy students at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Donations may be sent to 124 Ridgetop Circle, Flowood, 39232.