Betty Jean Bennett Seals (Mom, MeeMaw), 10 days shy of her 95th birthday, went to be with her Heavenly Father on early Friday morning, July 19.
She was born July 29, 1924 to Chester W. Bennett and Dora Markman Bennett in Edwards County, Illinois where she grew up, helping her parents tend their family farm. She attended business college in Evansville, Indiana while waiting for her fiance to come back from Africa and Italy where he fought in WWII. She married her high school sweetheart, Eldon Eli Seals, on September 14, 1944 immediately upon his return from the war and was married to him 39 years before his untimely death in 1983. She is also predeceased by her father and mother, Chester (Chet) and Dora, sister Norma Strine, and two daughters, Darlene Sue Seals and Barbara Jean Seals.
Eldon and Betty spent their early married life in the military, serving in various locations throughout Texas. They began and grew their family as her husband advanced his career with the V.A. Hospital in six states, finally settling in Nashville, Tennessee, where Eldon retired.
Betty spent her last four years at Bells Nursing and Rehab Center in Bells, Tennessee where she was affectionately known as Little Bit, Betty Boop and the 2018 Bells Nursing Home Queen. She will be remembered there for her smile, laugh, sweet spirit but also her spunkiness and fight. The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the staff of Bells for the loving and dedicated care provided her. They took wonderful care of Betty and loved her like their own family member and they will be forever family and friends to her children.
Betty’s life was one of service and following the Lord. While raising three children, one with spinal bifida, and supporting her husband’s career, Betty typed term papers on an electric typewriter for Belmont University students; served as Belmont Heights Baptist Church’s visitation leader visiting and delivering spiritual literature to the homebound; delivered Meals on Wheels; and collected money for March of Dimes annual fundraiser. She volunteered for Southern Hills Hospital in Nashville for 30 years, receiving the very prestigious Frist Award for her dedicated service. After her husband and daughter died, she enjoyed working as part of the office staff at Crievewood Baptist Church and enjoyed travel with her two sisters and daughter.
Betty was a wonderful cook, seamstress and gardener. Family favorite recipes were her carrot cake, peanut butter pie, sweet and sour pickles, Christmas chex mix, hopscotch cookies and cheese ball. She was known to be up late many a night finishing dresses for her daughters. She would rather spend her days outside gardening, trimming shrubs or mowing grass than inside the house. She loved her flower and vegetable gardens, canning and freezing tomatoes, green beans, sauerkraut, and corn.
She is survived by her children, Cheryl Seals Hughes (Larry) of Santa Rosa Beach, FL; Mike Seals (Mitzi) of Jackson, TN; two grandchildren whom she loved very much Megan Shaw (Brooks) of Medina, TN and Marshall Seals (Celene) of Henderson, TN; great granddaughter Grace Anne Shaw born in May and who was introduced to Mee Maw three days before her death; and two beloved sisters Blanche Reid of Phoenix, AZ and Virginia Wallace of Paris, IL. Additionally, she is survived by numerous nieces and nephews; great nieces and nephews, cousins, and other family members as well as many friends and neighbors that touched her life over the years.
SERVICES: Funeral services will be held Monday, July 22 in the chapel at Arrington Funeral Directors, Jackson, Tennessee. Visitation will be held from 4 pm to 6 pm with the service at 6 pm. Jube Ashworth, family friend, will officiate; Marshall Seals will read her obituary; Debbie Gilleland will conduct a reading and Chris Brewer will provide the music. Private family burial will be on Tuesday, July 23 at Woodlawn Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee.
Pallbearers will be Marshall Seals, Brooks Shaw, Clark Shaw, Larry Hughes, Jube Ashworth and Todd Austin.
The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, a memorial in the name of Betty Seals be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (www.stjude.org).
Arrington Funeral Directors, 148 W. University Parkway, Jackson, TN 38305 731.668.1111