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Bettie Lou Evans age 82, of Lexington, KY and Naples, FL (formerly of Mount Sterling, KY) passed away Tuesday, September 26, 2023. “Coach”, “Bettie Lou” and/or “BL” as she was known by all died at her home in Lexington, KY that she shared with her husband of 28 years Stanely D. Rullman after a hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by family and former student golfers all the way to the end of her life. Born on January 15th, 1941, to the late Horton and Louise Duff of Mount Sterling, KY Bettie Lou lived a full life including being an accomplished golfer – still golfing three days a week despite undergoing many rounds of chemotherapy treatments to beat cancer. Like everything Bettie Lou was passionate about, her determination to beat the disease never wavered. She pursued experimental treatments until she ultimately made the recent decision to stop and leave this world on her own terms, which is what most would consider having victory over death.
Bettie Lou graduated from Mount Sterling High School and Transylvania University. She became a high school teacher initially and at the same time developed a passion for golf. She became active in all the amateur golfer events and ended up being the President of the Kentucky State Golfing Association in 1978. In 1980 Bettie Lou was named the University of Kentucky Women’s Head Golf Coach, a position she held for 23 seasons and brought national attention to the women’s golf program. Her legendary approach of displaying genuine interest in her players on and off the course inherently developing great golfers but more importantly good students and great human beings set her apart. She led the SEC program to the NCAA Regionals 14 times, including 5 trips to the NCAA Championship with the best team-finish being 5th place in 1986. Bettie Lou had the opportunity to coach 2 All-Americans and 6 first-team All-SEC selections. She also coached 4 All-SEC second teamers. Bettie Lou was voted SEC Coach of the Year in 1992, Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year in 1986 and 1990 and was inducted into the National Golf Coaches Hall of Fame in 1997. She was later elected to the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame and the Transylvania University Sports Hall of Fame. Most recently she was inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2021. When accepting all accolades for coaching, she relentlessly gave all the credit to her team. Bettie Lou made invaluable contributions to the sport of golf and the state of Kentucky.
After retiring from coaching in 2001 she went on to serve as University of Kentucky’s Director of Golf Operations for 17 years. The Bettie Lou Evans Invitational Golf tournament held annually was named in her honor. While coaching, directing and in retirement and during retirement Bettie Lou had a prestigious golf career of her own. It included but was not limited to winning several tournaments at Vanderbilt Country Club in Naples, FL and Idle Hour Country Club in Lexington, KY. She won the Super Senior Championship at Idle Hour Country Club as recently as April. 2023.
Bettie Lou leaves quite the legacy. Aside from the obvious wins, awards and accolades she will be remembered for her spunk, energy, boldness, friendship, and love. Her approach to life will continue to inspire through her pride and joys Vance and his family, and her golfers that became lifelong friends, (aka Vance’s sisters). For generations to come, there will never be a shortage of “Coach”, “BL”, “BB”, or “Bettie Lou” stories …including lessons learned from her on and off the course.
In addition to her parents, Bettie Lou was preceded in death by her first husband, James Prewitt “Jimmy” Evans and sister-in-law Carolyn Evans.
Bettie Lou is survived by her husband, Stanley D. Rullman of Naples, Florida, a dear nephew that she always considered her son, Vance Reid Evans III (Christie) of Lexington, KY their children Alley Marie and James “Case” Evans who lovingly named Bettie Lou “BB”, a brother-in-law Reid Evans of Mount Sterling, KY along with his daughter Megan McCormick (Michael) and their children Noah and Samantha McCormick all of Mount Sterling, KY. She is also survived by a cousin, Chris (Debbie) Duff of Lexington, KY and a lifelong best friend Jackie Resinger of Lexington, KY.
Annette Bening says in her newest movie, “I don't believe in imposed limitations. The only one who gets to decide if I'm through is me.” That proved to be true for the one and only Bettie Lou Evans.
Services will be held at the First Christian Church in Mount Sterling, KY on Thursday, October 5, 2023. The visitation will be at 10:30AM followed by the funeral at 12:00PM. Interment will follow at Machpelah Cemetery also in Mount Sterling. Pastor Scott Holley will preside over all services. A Celebration of Life will be held from 3:00PM - 6:00PM at Idle Hour Country Club in Lexington. Everyone is invited, heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served.
Pallbearers: Tinder Harris, Norman Cash, Chris Duff, Badger Robertson, John Peck and Bob Bradley.
Honorary Pallbearer: Reid Evans.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the First Christian Church in Mount Sterling, KY.
First Christian Church
222 West Main Street, Mount Sterling KY 40353