Betty Ruth Garner was born July 23, 1931, to parents King Floyd Dodd and Mary Ella Dodd, in Iron City, Tennessee, the fourth of seven children. She married Billie Garner on June 13, 1953, and had three children: Stephen, Debra, and Pamela. She was Grandmother to eight: Amy, Heather, David, Emily, Rachael and Savannah, Matthew and Christopher and Great-Grandmother to eleven: Eden, Isabela, Israel, Halle, Hawk, Manny, Benjamin, Morena, Elliott, Maree and Olivia.
Betty was the quintessential homemaker and she loved it all: cooking, baking, sewing and gardening. When her children were young, she took in sewing for extra money. Those customers often gave her their unwanted clothing, which she took apart and re-used the fabric for her family making homemade patterns from newspaper and based on things she had seen at local department stores. As such, there were always new clothes for each school season and pretty dresses for Easter.
Betty was devoted to the church, and an active member of the several congregations she joined over the course of her life. She enjoyed group Bible studies and Sunday School, and her own private Bible study was integral to her devotional life. She kept a notebook handy to maintain her prayer list, which included many missionaries she had met over the years.
After the death of her husband, Betty traveled and volunteered at Christian schools and camps in Hawaii, California, Alaska, Guatemala and Thailand. She also volunteered many times with Child Evangelism in Missouri and Georgia. She spent a month in Switzerland with a good friend, and the photographs from that trip reflect how much she loved it there.
Betty was happiest when surrounded by people, particularly when she was feeding them. It was not unusual for her to have a group of ladies for a luncheon, a couple of friends for dinner that same day, and then bring friends or newcomers home after church for leftovers. Even when cooking just for herself, she always made a lovely salad with lettuces and tomatoes she had grown herself and took the time to make beautiful fruit salads to eat from lovely crystal bowls. As a Mother, she believed children should have a hot breakfast before going to school, she would make pancakes or hot cereal, waffles or biscuits. When her grandchildren remember her or look at photographs, they will see pictures of meals she made for them complete with birthday cakes and pies.
Betty lived her final years in Georgia near her daughter, Debra, and son-in-law, Reid, and was able to enjoy many good times in their home, particularly with their dogs and cats, which was a surprise to everyone. Betty died on Thursday, January 19, 2023. She was preceded in death by her husband Billie, daughter Pamela, brother Cecil, and sisters Blanche, Jewel and Jean. She will be missed by everyone who knew her.
A memorial service will be held on February 3, 2023 at 1:00pm at St. Andrew Episcopal Church in Hartwell, Georgia.
Services have been entrusted to Coile and Hall Funeral Directors, 333 E. Johnson Street in Hartwell.
You may leave words of comfort for the family at www.coileandhallfd.com