Bettye Jean (Williams) Wade, age 84 of Decatur, Tennessee passed away on April 10, 2017 at Athens Place in Athens after a long 4- year illness of vascular dementia. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, mother-in-law, aunt and friend. She enjoyed her family and looked forward to the annual family reunions. A native of McMinn County, Bettye was born at home on a farm on August 2, 1932 to her parents Walter and Mendie Jewell Cooper Williams. She started at Claxton School as a primer in 1938 and continued there through most of the fourth grade. The family moved to Athens and she started at Forest Hill School in the fourth grade and graduated from the 8th grade in 1947. She then attended McMinn County High school and graduated in 1951. Betty played on the basketball team during the 8th grade at Forest Hill School and also had a part in an operetta called "Pirate of Penzance". In high school, her activities were: Joy Club (Bible Club) president in 1948, Future Homemakers of America in 1949, senior play "Our Miss Brooks" in 1951, chorus member for two years, and alto delegate from McMinn High School to the All State Chorus in Nashville in 1951. Bettye always enjoyed singing and started before an audience at the age of 5 at Double Springs Baptist Church with the help of the song leader, Buford Barker. She learned to sing alto from her older sister, Lucille. Later, while attending Valley View Methodist Church in Powell, Tennessee, she sang alto with other people in the church. Later, from 1985-1987 she sang with the "Galileans" quartet from Cleveland Tennessee. Her favorite music was Southern Gospel and her second choice was country music. Bettye started waitressing in high school at Snow's Drugstore in Athens and then cashiered at Moore's Hardware Store. After high school, she started at Hamby Construction Company for one year as a secretary and payroll clerk. She married her husband, Paul Wade, on December 22, 1951, and they moved to Chattanooga. She worked at Blessing-Waterhouse Wholesale Company as a bookkeeper until she became pregnant with her first child, Deborah Ann Wade, who was born July of 1953. They made many more moves over the years with TVA. Their second child, Alan Derek Wade, was born in June of 1958. Bettye was a homemaker and Paul retired from TV in September 1988. They retired to the Rogers Creek farm and built a new house (at the site of the old house where Paul was raised). Their grandchild Kari Nicole Brooks, was born on November 16, 1989.
Ms Wade was preceded in death by: her husband Paul Wade, one infant brother John Henry Williams , three sisters and brother-in-laws: Ruth and Louis Leatherwood, Thelma (Honey) and Robert (Pug) Armstrong, Lucille and Birch Clarke, and James Wesley Shultz, one nephew, Robert (Bobby) Armstrong, and one niece Wanda June Jones.
one daughter and son-in-law, Debbie and Mike Brooks of Decatur, one son and his girlfriend A.D. Wade and Betty Jo Whitehead of Decatur; one granddaughter and her fiance', Kari Brooks and Greg Culin of Knoxville; one sister, Sarah (Bill) Shultz of Athens, and several nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.
The family would like to give special thanks to the staff and nurses of Athens Place for our mom's excellent hospitality and care.We have all become a big family at Athens Place. The family would also like to express their thanks for all the help and support provided by the members of the McMinn and Meigs Alzheimer's Support Group headed by Linda Garza. We would like to thank Joyce at Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pebbles at Captain D's Restaurant, Cindy (our cousin) at Buddy's Barbecue, and the girls at Russell Stover's Candy Shop for the kind words and attention that they have given our mom during the lunches and ice cream we shared with her at these Athens restaurants.
The graveside service will be 2:30 pm Friday, April 14, 2017 at Thomas Cemetery with the Rev. Jamie Lonas and Rev. Bruce Vincent officiating.
The family will receive friends from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm at the funeral home before the service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to The McMinn Meigs Alzheimer's Support Group c/o Linda Garza 714 Cartwright Street Athens, TN 37303
Those unable to attend may send condolences to www.laycock-hobbs.com Laycock-Hobbs Funeral Home will be in charge of the arrangements.