Bernadette Ann Hartman December 24, 1959 ~ January 19, 2014
Bernadette “Ms. B” Ann Hartman, 54 of Fayetteville, passed away at Circle of Life Hospice on Sunday, January 19, 2014. Special thanks go out to Circle of Life Hospice, Brightstar and “B’s Angels” (Kaye, Beth, Carol and Jane) for all their love and support during her battle with cancer. Bernadette was born on December 24, 1959 in Baltimore, Maryland to Dorothy Bustard Cortese and Ralph Cortese. She grew up in Dundalk, Maryland and moved to Montpelier Vermont where she graduated from Montpelier High School in 1977. She was an active professional advocate for children and worked in the field of Early Childhood Education to improve the quality of learning experiences for children for over 30 years. In 1989, she moved to Florida where she continued to pursue her career in Sarasota and Jacksonville before moving to Northwest Arkansas in 2010. There, Ms. B worked as the Administrative Director at the Northwest Arkansas Center for Autism and The Grace School in Fayetteville. Throughout her career, she was known by all for her compassion, patience, diplomacy and her smiling face.
Bernadette was a loving mother, sister and friend. She will be remembered by all who love her for her kindness and strength. Bernadette is preceded in death by her parents and brother Ralph Cortese. She is survived by her daughter Katrina and husband Clifton Ryan Lawson (and her “granddog Siggy”) of Fayetteville, Arkansas, her step-father, David Dennis, brother Ken, his wife Stephanie Cortese and her nieces, Amanda, Angela and Marissa and her nephew, Brendon of Atascadero, California. She is also survived by her lifelong friend Christine Ryan.
A memorial service will be held at 2pm on Friday, January 24th at Central United Methodist Church in Fayetteville. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Northwest Arkansas Center for Autism & The Grace School, 2458 East Joyce Blvd. Suite 10, Fayetteville, AR 72703.
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