Obituary of Betty M. Outlaw
Our dear mother, Betty Outlaw sadly passed away on March 18, 2023. She was a wonderful
mother who was always there in our time of need. She also had many friends and was a well-loved and
respected member of the community.
Betty was born on January 1, 1943, in Beaumont, Texas where she attended both elementary
and high school. Soon after graduating from high school, she relocated to Colfax, Louisiana where she
met her first husband John Miller, Sr. Betty and John welcomed their three children John Jr., Karen and
At the age of 22 Betty moved to Jersey City, New Jersey and she attended Rutgers University
where she studied Business. In 1970, she met and married her current husband Willis Outlaw Jr. and
from that union, Betty and Willis had two children, Kassiem and Megan.
Betty Outlaw dedicated her life to leadership, volunteerism and mentorship. Her life of service
began when she founded the Lexington Avenue Block Association where she would host the Free
Breakfast and Lunch Program every summer for underprivileged children right out of her home and let's
not forget the government cheese program. Her love for the community inspired her to seek the seat
for Assembly in 1985 and Hudson County Clerk in 1998. Betty, a civil rights activist coordinated in 1988 a
return to Washington, DC for the 25th Anniversary of the King’s Speech. Betty continued to show her
love for Jersey City and the residents when she ran for the Jersey City Municipal Council in 2009.
She was the Co-Director of the Hudson/Essex Counties Regional Tournament of Champions,
President of the North Hudson Division of the American Heart Association, a member of the Greenville
Steering Committee, the New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus, People United for Progress and the
NAACP. Betty was appointed by Governor Florio to serve on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission as
well as an organizer for the yearly breakfast with Santa at the Moose Hall and the Seasoned Retirees of
Betty began her career with the City of Jersey City by serving as Secretary to the Jersey City
Municipal Council and Executive Secretary to then Council President Glenn Cunningham under the
leadership of the late Mayor Anthony Cucci. She believed everyone was entitled to the right to vote and
began hosting voters’ registration drives. Betty was then appointed as the first African American to
serve as the Hudson County Superintendent of Elections where she served from 1988 to 2001. She went
on to serve as the Director of the Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services and as the
Director of the Jersey City Department of Public Works. She retired from the City of Jersey City but her
dedication and commitment to the people of Jersey City continued well after.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Betty Outlaw, please visit Tribute Store
Betty leaves behind to cherish her memory and legacy, husband, Willis Outlaw Sr.; children John
Miller, Jr, Karen Bruce and her husband Selvin, Monique Snow and her husband Cleveland, Kassiem
Outlaw; grand-children Deshaan McNeill, Diona McClain, Krystal Snow, Kassiem Outlaw, Jr., Deshard
Outlaw, Briana Meyers and Jaden Meyers as well as her great-grandchildren Amira McNeil, Deshaan
McNeil, Jr. and Roman Baxter; Sisters, Billie Gray, Terry Gray and Lynn Caldwell and Sister-In Law Estelle
Louise Pearson as well as a host of nieces and nephews. However, many people considered Betty as
their surrogate mother. She was predeceased by her parents, Freddie and Corine Gray; her daughter
Megan Outlaw and her grandson, Jayvon Snow.; her brothers Martin Gray, Freddie Gray, Jr. and Al Gray
and a sister Lillie Mae Walker.