Cover photo for Bertie Ruth (Ayers) Cranford's Obituary
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1928 Bertie 2020

Bertie Ruth (Ayers) Cranford

December 18, 1928 — January 5, 2020

Bertie Ruth (Ayers) Cranford passed away on January 5, 2020 at the age of 91 in the loving care of her family. We are so grateful for her life of faith, education, strong principles and love for family. She taught us many things. Bertie was born on December 18, 1928 in Pineville, NC the daughter and first-born child of Hugh and Ethel (Earnheart) Ayers. Her siblings included brothers Hershel, Eddie and Harold. All three of her brothers previously passed away. Bertie graduated from Pineville High School in 1947. She graduated from Brevard College in 1949 and from Queen’s College in Charlotte, NC in 1951. In 1973, Bertie earned her Masters’ Degree in Education from Butler University in Indianapolis. All her life Bertie loved education, reading and current events. In 1951, Bertie married the love of her life, Bill Cranford, Sr., in the Pineville United Methodist Church. They moved to Louisville, KY so Bill could attend the Southern Baptist Seminary. It was here that Bertie started her teaching career. Two years later they moved to southern Indiana while Bill finished seminary and Bertie continued teaching. They moved to Shelbyville, IN in 1961 where Bill was pastor at Mt. Gilead Baptist and Calvary Baptist churches. Bill, Sr. passed away in 1970. Bertie loved to teach. She was a 5th & 6th grade teacher for 33 years in the Shelbyville Central Schools. She felt teaching was a way that she could serve others and it was the perfect profession for her. She talked about her teaching career and her teaching acquaintances until her final days. Bertie was also a strong, opinionated, independent woman. She raised three children as a single parent and weathered all the joys and heartaches that accompany parenthood. She was proud of her house that she purchased and cared for since 1971. She loved the Methodist Church and was so grateful to be part of it the last years of her life. Those who survive will miss her dearly. Her children, now gracefully aging adults, are Bill, Jr (wife Rachel Hanks) of St. Paul, MN; Mary Fisher (husband John) of Manilla, IN; and John Cranford (wife Stacy) of Shelbyville, IN. Bertie was so proud of her grandchildren Eric, Marie, Brooke, Megan, Jakob and Jared. She adored her 3 great grandchildren. Bertie’s visitation will be at Freeman Family Funeral Homes, Carmony-Ewing Chapel, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville, IN on Tuesday January 7, 2020 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM. Her funeral service will be at the funeral home on Wednesday, January 8 at 2:00 PM. The Reverends Wyatt Watkins and Reid Walker will officiate. Memorials are encouraged in lieu of flowers to Cumberland First Baptist Church, 116 South Muessing St., Indianapolis, IN 46229; or to the Shelbyville-Shelby County Animal Shelter, 705 Hale Road, Shelbyville, Indiana 46176. Online condolences may be shared with Bertie’s family at
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

4:00 - 7:00 am (Eastern time)

Harrison Street Chapel


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