Betty Carr Pulkingham was born in 1928 and educated in North Carolina, receiving a B.S. in music from the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina (now the University of North Carolina at Greensborough). Following graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music, she became an Instructor of Music Theory at the University of Texas. Her music career has also included the direction of choirs in schools and in churches, most notably, the choir of Church of the Redeemer, where her late husband, the Rev. Graham Pulkingham, served as rector. They became founding members of the Anglican-based Community of Celebration. During the Community's residence in the UK (1974-85), Betty had a primary role in the development of resources for Christian worship and nurture.
A significant aspect of Betty Pulkingham's teaching ministry has been the ability to blend successfully the discipline of traditional, classical musicianship with the folk arts. She has co-edited four major songbooks/hymnal supplements, written two books, four settings of service music for the Eucharist, responsorial psalters, as well as many hymns, anthems and songs for children.
Since 1993, she has made her home in Burlington, North Carolina, where in 1996, she married Herbert Wendell, with whom she shared oversight and care of her aging mother and aunt until his death in 2001. She is a Companion of the Community of Celebration in Aliquippa, PA.