December 24, 1959 - January 19, 2014

Burial Date


HARTMAN, BERNADETTE ANN “MS. B,” 54, of Fayetteville, Ark., passed away at Circle of Life Hospice on January 19. Bernadette was born Dec. 24, 1959 in Baltimore, Md., to Dorothy Bustard Cortese and Ralph Cortese. She grew up in Dundalk, Md., and moved to Montpelier, 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 is preceded in death by her parents and brother Ralph Cortese. She is survived by her daughter, Katrina, and husband Clifton Ryan Lawson of Fayetteville, Ark.; her stepfather, David Dennis; brother Ken, his wife, Stephanie Cortese, and her nieces, Amanda, Angela and Marissa, and her nephew, Brendon, of Atascadero, Calif. She is also survived by her lifelong friend, Christine Ryan.

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