Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Epilogue | Betty Jean Churuti

Pioneering female stockbroker Betty Jean Churuti started by chance

Betty Jean Churuti

Betty Jean Churuti

ST. PETERSBURG — The prospect of dinner with her daughter was so exciting, Betty Jean Churuti would wheel out of her adult living facility a half-hour early, sit and wait.

If anyone asked where she was going (and she hoped they would), she'd tell them proudly. When Debby Deacon and her husband pulled up in their PT Cruiser convertible, she'd beam.

"She loved riding in that convertible," said Deacon. "She was so proud of all of us. We could do something that was absolutely nothing, and to her, it was an amazing feat."

Her own feats, though plenty, she found less impressive.

• • •

Mrs. Churuti a trailblazing female stockbroker, died Monday after a long illness. She was 79.

Her start in stocks was sort of an accident.

She worked nights doing clerical work at Western Union, trained on the same Teletype machine the brokers used. The men encouraged her to get a brokerage license. In 1961, she did.

Sometimes, after long lunches, the brokers didn't come back.

"Mom, God bless her, she'd just step right in and get everything done," said Deacon. "Processed all the orders, got all the trades done, got them all booked for the customers."

She stayed in the business, eventually becoming an associate vice president at Raymond James & Associates. She trained people and traveled, opening up branches.

"She was kind of a pioneer doing things that women hadn't done much of before," said her son, Bob Churuti Jr., who is married to former Pinellas County Attorney Susan Churuti. "That's not why she did it, though. She did it because it was a challenge to her."

She did much of it on her own. At age 46, her husband died of a heart attack. Her children were grown, and without her husband, she poured her energy into work.

And some years later, she found another outlet. Mrs. Churuti's brother belonged to the Second Time Arounders marching band. He encouraged his sister to join. She had played the glockenspiel in high school. Why not?

In the Second Time Arounders, she served in the honor guard, carrying flags at the front of parade lines. One year during a performance in a torrential downpour, Mrs. Churuti didn't waver.

"She was just holding that flag steady as you please," said Deacon, who is also on the honor guard. "I wanted to just shiver to death, but she was rock solid."

When her health went downhill, she couldn't walk in parades. Every year, she'd roll her walker to the parade route wearing full band uniform. She'd pop the seat out, sit down and watch.

As the band rolled by, she'd point to her friends and relatives.

Stephanie Hayes can be reached at shayes@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8857.

.Biography

Betty Jean Churuti

Born: Aug. 27, 1928.

Died: Aug. 11, 2008.

Survivors: son, Bob Churuti, Jr. and his wife, Susan; daughters, Debby Deacon her husband, Robert, Donna Trumm and her husband, John; a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren; a brother; nieces; and a great-nephew.

Services: 4-7 p.m. Friday at Anderson McQueen Funeral Home, 2201 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg.

Pioneering female stockbroker Betty Jean Churuti started by chance 08/12/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 8:57am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Fred Clutterbuck poses for a photo in front of the "Dunkirk" movie poster at the Cobb Theatre in Tyrone on Friday. Clutterback is a survivor of the Dunkirk evacuation. [EVE EDELHEIT | Times]
  2. Clearwater driver charged as 10th person dies in sweltering San Antonio truck

    Nation

    SAN ANTONIO — The Clearwater driver of a sweltering Texas tractor-trailer was charged Monday with transporting immigrants illegally, resulting in the deaths of 10 people.

    James Mathew Bradley Jr., 60, of Clearwater, left, arrives at the federal courthouse for a hearing, Monday, July 24, 2017, in San Antonio. Bradley was arrested in connection with the deaths of multiple people packed into a broiling tractor-trailer. [Associated Press]
  3. Bank of Tampa expanding into Sarasota

    Banking

    TAMPA — The Bank of Tampa is expanding to Sarasota County. It opened a loan office this month in downtown Sarasota at 1858 Ringling Blvd., which will be converted to a full-service branch within the year, the company said in a release Monday.

    The Bank of Tampa is expanding to Sarasota. Charles Murphy, pictured, will lead the Sarasota branch. | [Courtesy of The Bank of Tampa]
  4. Jeb Bush: Anthony Scaramucci will help Trump

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON - Before he discovered unyielding love for Donald Trump, Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director, was a Jeb Bush man.

    Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director
  5. Tampa Bay home prices still climbing, though more slowly

    Real Estate

    Tampa Bay home prices rose again in June, although the once-torrid pace of increases shows signs of slowing.

    This three story home in Port Richey's gated Harborpointe sold for $1.15 million in June, making it the top sale in Pasco County for the month.
[Penny Perry]