Cover photo for Harold Archibald Bethea's Obituary
Harold Archibald Bethea Profile Photo

Harold Archibald Bethea

June 24, 1930 — January 22, 2023

Harold Archibald Bethea, 92, of Valdosta, passed away on Sunday, January 22, 2023 at Langdale Hospice House. He was born in Jacksonville, FL, on June 24, 1930 to the late Alpheus James Bethea and Corrine Morgan Bethea. He played high school football at Woodlawn High in Birmingham, AL, and went on to play football at the University of Louisville, Kentucky with Johnny Unitas. Mr. Bethea was a teacher, coach, and principal for 30 years for the Hamilton County School District. He was an avid runner who loved to run races and ran in the New York Marathon. He was a member of the Valdosta Track Club. Mr. Bethea was a member of Northside Baptist Church and taught Sunday School there for many years. He was also a teacher and counselor at several prison systems. He loved his family, going to the beach, and enjoyed reading and writing.

Mr. Bethea is survived by his wife of 69 years, Betty Smith Bethea, of Valdosta; daughter, Carol Brown (Riley); son, Ken Bethea (Katrina); daughter, Jeanie Bachrach (Michael); grandchildren, Rebecca Meindl (Arnie), Riley Brown, III (Ashley), Kate Hutchinson (Jason), Jason Bethea (Katie), Erin Webster (Ian), Billy Bachrach, Rachel Rigoli (Adam), Jacob Bachrach; great grandchildren, Brooke Meindl, Worth Brown, Wyatt Brown, Waylon Brown, Wesley Ann Brown, Amelia Webster, Judah Webster, and Sarah Grace Rigoli; brother, Ray Bethea (Jo); sister, Laurel Zielinski (Bob); and a host of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers, Jim Bethea, Reginald Bethea, sister Joan Webb, and brothers-in-law, Allen Smith, Stanley Smith, and Austin Smith.

A funeral service for Mr. Bethea will be held at 11am on Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at Northside Baptist Church with Rev. Robby Foster officiating. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 10-11am. A private burial will be held at McLane Riverview Memorial Gardens. Condolences to the family may be conveyed online at Carson McLane Funeral Home

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harold Archibald Bethea, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Family to receive friends at the church before the service

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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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*Standard text messaging rates apply.

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