Staff Spotlight: Betty Martin Potts

By Sarah Sexton | Publish Date June 27, 2024

When Betty Martin Potts retired from Bellsouth, she knew she had more to give.

“When I was 16 years old, a girl asked me to go to a South Central Bell training with her over the Christmas holiday,” Betty shared. “She didn’t get hired, but I did! Thirty-four years later, I retired at the age of 50 as an electronic technician, but over the years, I had worked as a commercial clerk, service rep, and more. I loved to work.”

Betty and her husband, Jerry, who also worked at Bellsouth, met on a blind date. Their first date was to church. “We hit it off right away,” she said. “It was love at first sight on my part for sure.” Although only 18 and 19 years old, the two were in love and decided to marry.

“This June, we celebrated 53 years of marriage,” Betty said.

The company took them to Atlanta in 1983. “We were in Atlanta almost 2 years when our oldest son got sick,” Betty shared. Jerry Potts Jr. “Jay,” the oldest of three boys, was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma at the age of 13. “The day he was diagnosed was the very day AT&T went on strike. The company was really good to us and transferred us back to Birmingham so we could be close to family.”

Betty’s children Philip and Wade live nearby in Trussville and Fort Payne, Alabama, respectively. Betty now has four grandchildren and enjoys cooking. “I like finding a recipe and trying something new,” Betty said. “I also love to find treasures at vintage stores or flea markets. I paint, and I work with jewelry. I make purses – anything crafty.” Betty’s mother was a wonderful seamstress and passed her love of sewing and cooking to her daughter.

“One time, I entered a cooking contest through Quick Mart,” she shared. “You had to buy all the ingredients from the store and send in a recipe. Sure enough, I won!” Betty’s double-decker meatloaf sliders were the winning recipe. “We got free tickets to an Alabama game, and I won $1,000.”

Betty was drawn to Kirkwood by its beauty. “Everyone talks about how beautiful it is. It’s just amazing,” she said. “And the people are so varied in what they’ve done, so friendly, so fun-loving. They love to get together, dress up, socialize. And they truly take advantage of all the services we offer.”

Betty also acknowledged that Kirkwood is one big family. “I really can’t say anything but good things about working here,” she said. “The residents will stop by just to chat, and they bring me back food from celebrations to the reception desk. It’s just like family.”

When asked what advice she would give to new residents, Betty quickly responded, “Be social. You’ll make a lot of friends. It is such a friendly place.”

Betty can be found greeting guests and assisting residents on Thursdays and Fridays from Kirkwood’s main lobby. She is excited to meet you!


The Residents

Our residents come from different backgrounds and bring their unique qualities, talents, and life experiences to complete the Kirkwood community. Here are just a few reflections from some individuals who call Kirkwood their home.

My time at Kirkwood was spectacular; they taught me how to walk again. The staff was outstanding, and the care was beyond reproach. When I arrived, I had a long way to go. I was very sick. The first night, they had to lift me as I could not move by myself. When I left, they were chasing me down the hallway. They taught me how to perform the activities of daily living again. It was the best care I could have prayed for, and on top of that, the food was spectacular.

Eli Gold Past Resident

I fell in love with the cottage and the view from my back porch. I am excited to have a yard for Ginger, my poodle, to play in and my own garage, all within an established retirement community!

Charlotte Hamilton Current Resident

My husband and I looked at a number of places when deciding to move to a retirement community. For the most part, we found communities that said, ‘We’re going to take care of you.’ But Kirkwood was different. It wasn’t just about taking care of us. It was also about having fun, having friends, and living life to the fullest. The attitude at Kirkwood was positive and the atmosphere was comforting. We simply couldn’t resist. Without a doubt, the location was ideal. The Cahaba Room that overlooks the river, the mountains, the trails – there were just so many things about life. The community was lively. It was alive.

Alice Brooks Current Resident

We realized we were approaching an age where we might need more assistance than what just downsizing could provide. Knowing we have my sons nearby and the levels of care should we need it is comforting, and the beautiful hillside, river, and the woods makes it that much more appealing. We don’t know of any other community that has the woods, the various levels of care, and so many different amenities.

Phyllis and John Guschke Current Residents

We were moving my parents down from the Cleveland area to be near us. I looked at almost every retirement place in the Birmingham area. The second I turned into Kirkwood’s drive and drove up the hill, I knew that I’d found the perfect place for my parents to live in Alabama. In the six years that my parents have been at Kirkwood, I have always felt nothing but love and helpfulness from every staff member. Everyone is always helpful with a pleasant attitude. You can truly see and feel the family atmosphere. I’m happy that my parents can call Kirkwood their home.

Brenda Sheehan Kirkwood family member

When we learned that Cedar Ridge was being developed, that seemed to fit our needs very well. It is the ideal place for the next phase of our retirement.

Carol and Arthur Stephens Current Residents

One thing that we feel is very important here at Kirkwood by the River is the relationship that we have between the staff and the residents. They are dedicated to making our life here as safe and secure and pleasurable as possible. That goes a long way.

Fred Rogers Current Resident

The community's cottage living surrounded by a wooded, natural environment with access to future healthcare services is what attracted us to Kirkwood!

Rick and Jane Ricketts Current Residents