Betty was born April 9, 1949 to Cozy Lee and Mary Gathright in Hermondale, Missouri. She transitioned from this life at the age of 71, while at St. Joseph Medical Center, Mishawaka.
Betty and her family relocated to the South Bend, Indiana area in 1951. She united with the Bethlehem Baptist Church, where she served under the leadership of Rev. John W. Willis, Rev. Hardy Petty, and Rev. Keith Witherspoon over her lifetime. During her tenure at the church, she was active with the Sunday School Department. Later, Betty joined the Usher Board. After her health started to decline and she could not actively usher, she united with the Mass Choir where she enjoyed singing “God is Good.”
Betty graduated from Washington High School in 1967. Decades after she graduated from High School, she attended Indiana University South Bend, where she received various certificates in early childhood education. Betty spent approximately 40 years working with children. Her experience included Head Start, ABC Place and Mama Joe's Day Care.
She was preceded in death by both parents; her eldest sister, Mary Barnes; and her infant daughter, Lynette Monique Clay.
Those left to cherish her memories are four sons: Jimmy L. Jackson III of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Shawn Jackson of Portsmouth, Virginia, Sheldon Jackson of South Bend, Indiana, (father of all Jacksons - Jimmy Jackson Jr. - deceased), and Leonard (Lindsey) Clay III of Indianapolis, Indiana (father of Leonard Clay Jr.); three brothers: Jessie (Bonnie) Gathright of South Bend, Indiana, Charles Gathright of South Bend, Indiana, and Cozy Gathright of Indianapolis, Indiana; ten grandchildren: Jasmine Jackson, Jimmy L. Jackson IV, Vance Moore, Savonne Esper, Destiny Jackson, Dynasty Jackson, Leonard Clay IV, Nathanial Clay, Isaac Clay, and Evan Clay, and five great-grandchildren; along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and friends who already miss her presence.
Betty loved to sew and bake cookies to give away as gifts at Christmas time. She had great integrity and was very loving, caring, compassionate, graceful, and selfless. Her favorite quote from the Bible was Psalm 23, which she shared with many she would meet.
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