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News Story
Updated: 10/23/2013 08:00:01AM

Betty Ann Hamilton

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Betty Ann Hamilton

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Betty Ann Hamilton, 81, quietly slipped away from this earthly life to life everlasting on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, due to complications from dementia.

Betty was born on May 5, 1932, to James Morrell and Lula Odessa (Grimes) Powell in Brinson, Ga.

Growing up on a Depression era farm, Betty quickly learned the value of hard work.

After graduating high school, she carried this trait and her compassionate nature to Georgia Baptist Nursing School (now Mercer) in Atlanta, graduating as a registered nurse in 1953.

In August of 1954 she met Billy Ray Hamilton and on Dec. 12 of that year they were married, the beginning of a nearly 59 year journey together.

After living in Jacksonville, the couple moved to Lakeland in 1956. Betty worked as an RN at Lakeland General Hospital until 1960 when she gave birth to David, the first of two children. She continued to work part time for a short while but soon took on the role she truly loved, that of full-time wife and mother.

While Bill worked as the manager and later owner of Cattlemen’s Livestock Auction Markets, Betty provided a loving Christian home for her husband, son and daughter, Donna, born in 1965.

She and Bill had joined Calvary Baptist Church when they came to Lakeland and never left. The church was her second family and she gave of herself to it as she did her own. For many years she taught 4-and 5-year-old boys in Sunday School, loving and nurturing all of them as if they were her own. They could always count on getting a hug and kiss from “Miss Betty.”

She also used her nursing skills to provide private duty assistance to those who were in need but couldn’t afford it. She was the definition of humility and unselfishness, always giving and asking for nothing in return.

When her own children became parents, Betty became “Granny,” a title she truly loved, especially on holidays and family vacations when they would all be together.

Betty and Bill traveled after retirement, including trips with fellow church members. She always looked forward to yearly trips to the mountains of North Carolina.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents and son-in-law, Tommy Driskell.

She is survived by her loving husband of 58 years, Bill, son, David (Debbie); daughter, Donna Driskell; sister, Ramona Mitchell, and six grandchildren: Trent, Brian, Brett, Jacob, Ryan, and Lindsey. She also leaves behind five great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and loving caregiver Michelle Spivey.

Visitation for Betty is 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15 at Lanier Funeral Home in Lakeland.

The funeral is 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16 at Calvary Baptist Church in Lakeland, with burial to follow at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Lanier Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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