2016-11-04 / Society

Bette Jane Cherry Boyd

The graveside service for Bette J. Boyd and Donald E. Boyd will be held this Friday November 4, 2016, at 1 p. m. at Fort Jackson National Cemetery. The Reverend Dr. Robert Winburn will officiate. Temples Halloran Funeral Home will be assisting the family.

Bette Jane Cherry Boyd of Columbia, South Carolina passed away on Wednesday, October 26. She was 86. Bette was born December 2, 1929, in Lansing, Michigan, to Forest and Gladys Cherry.

At an early age, she and her older twin sisters began dancing and The Cherry Sisters entertained throughout Michigan. In the mid 1940s, The Cherry Sisters took their act to New York City and performed until the older sisters left the act to get married.

Bette continued as a solo dancer and singer under the stage name of Bette Sherry and became the dance captain and assistant choreographer at Lou Walter’s Latin Quarter, a night club owned by Barbara Walter’s father.

Some of her dance partners included Donald O’Connor and Gene Kelly. Her friends included aspiring performers Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford.

Bette also grabbed the attention of surrealist artist Salvador Dali and became the subject of photographs collaborated by Philippe Halsman and Dali. In addition, Paramount Studios invited her for a screen test.

In 1950, Bette met musician Don Boyd and they married in July of that year. They moved to Beckley West Virginia, Don’s home, and took over the family jewelry store business.

Don organized a dance band that traveled six states. Bette managed the band and was the vocalist for the band. The band continued until Don’s death in 2005.

Once arriving in West Virginia, Bette became quite active in civic organizations. She served as president of the Beckley Junior Women’s Club and later as founding member of the Quota Club of Beckley. She and Don organized and participated in many stage revues. Their children, Don and Norree, also performed with them throughout the 50s and 60s.

In 1977, Bette and Don moved to Columbia, and the band moved with them. Bette continued to manage and sing with the band until 2005. In addition, she obtained her South Carolina real estate license and was a very successful realtor and property manager in Columbia.

Again, active in organizations, she held many offices on the Lionsgate Homeowners Association and Polo Ridge Homeowners Association. Bette loved to cruise, and she and Don would often travel by ship to destinations around the world. Her other pastimes included shopping, knitting, and coloring in her adult coloring book.

Bette was predeceased by husband, Don, her parents, Forest and Gladys Cherry, her sisters: Arlowayne Rouse, Lorraine Carper, and Nina Dixon, and her half- brother, Jim Cherry. She is survived by her daughter Norree Boyd-Wicks (Philip) of Columbia; son, Don Boyd (Linda) of Columbia; grandson, Jason Boyd of Columbia; and step-grandchildren: Karen Wicks Armentrout ( Doug) of Palm Harbor Florida; Kay Wicks Grainger (Mark) of London, England; Christopher Wicks of Winter Garden, Florida; and Philip Wicks of London England. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews, step-great grandchildren and step-great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by her beloved four-footed companion dog Bee Bee.

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