Betty Jane Thompson was the fourth daughter born to the late Rev. W.D. Matthews and Lucile (Smith) Matthews on October 9, 1935 in Dale County, (Ozark) Alabama. Five girls completed this happy, Christian family circle.
Betty received her early education from D.A. Smith High School (currently D.A. Smith Middle School), in the Ozark City School System. After graduating from high school, she attended and earned a B.S. Degree in Home Economics from Alabama A&M College (University), Huntsville, Al. In 1958, she was elected “Miss A&M College (University).
She moved to College Park, Ga. and became an active member of Friendship Baptist Church in College Park, Ga. She sang in the choir, was a member of the Matron’s club, Willing Workers, and Nurses Guild. She later joined Christians For Change Baptist Church in College Park, Ga. She returned home (Ozark) in 2000, joined St. Mark A.M.E.Zion Church and served faithfully for 18 years in many organizations...President of the Deaconess Board, Life Member of the Missionary Society, Chaplain of the W.H.O.M.S. , Lay Council, Christian Education, Senior Choir, and President of the Culinary Committee.
While in College Park, she worked as a supervisor for several years at Arrow Shirt Factory, Atlanta, Ga. She attended Georgia State University, Atlanta, Ga., and completed all requirements for certification in Elementary Education. Betty taught at several different schools, including 4th grade at College Park Elementary, Home Economics at Pinckard High School (currently South Dale Middle School), Dale County High School, Midland City, Al., and Ariton Elementary School, Ariton, Al.
On December 27, 1961, Roy Lee Thompson, Jr. and Betty Jane Matthews were joined in holy matrimony. They were blessed with two beautiful children, Lil Roy and Beth.
Betty was known by her family and friends as Mama, Grandma, Betty Jane, Aunt Betty, Miss Betty and Mother Betty. She was a thoughtful neighbor and a contributing citizen, who was proud of her city and it’s progress, a dependable friend and neighbor. She smiled at everyone and was always ready to lend a helping hand or help anyone in need. This included feeding/clothing local men/women from the neighborhood and even helped those she didn’t know.
On Thursday, August 15, 2019, while a patient at Flowers Hospital (Dothan, Al.), Betty responded to the call of Our Heavenly Father and quietly went to be with the Lord. She is preceded in death by her parents and two sisters, Rachel Gibson and Smithie Brew.
Her family and friends will always have precious and loving memories of her and she will always be cherished and remembered by her devoted son and daughter, Roy Lee Thompson, III (Shari) of Riverdale, Ga., and Bethel Terry of Ozark, Al. Grandchildren: Eryan (Nichole) Thompson, Royanna (Eric) Hilton, Roy Lee Thompson, IV (Delisa), Eryanna (Shabria), of College Park, Ga. and Isaiah Terry of Ozark, Al. Great-grands: Eryel, Eryon, Eryonna (deceased), Eryan, Jr., Eric, Jr., Eryka, Errol, Za’Naya, Riyanna, Eryn, and Rayla, all of College Park, Ga. Two sisters, Hazel Turner and Nancy McFarlin (Ozark, Al.). Loving Nephews: Calvin Beale (Nora), Aiea, HI., William Beale & Daron Brew (Ozark, Al.), Arthur Ray Bakari & Perry (Latonya) Bakari, Newark, N.J., Ted (Tammie)Thompson, Edwin (Stacy) Beale, Cary, N.C., Eric (Cindy) Thompson, Manila, Philippines; Michael (Vera) Thompson, Mitchelville, MD, Phillip Thompson, Stone Mountain, Ga., Son-in-law, Jody Terry, Devoted nieces, Deborah Benton, Enterprise, Al., Yolanda McFarlin and Renorda McFarlin of Ozark, Al. A very special niece, Victoria Smith, Twynette Thompson, Atlanta, Ga., Sherry Thompson, Helen Woodyard (David), LaGrange, Ga., Hayward (Sandra) McFarlin, El Paso, TX, Mary Sanders, Roanoke, Al. Kara Thompson Covington, Cleverly, MD, Jeanne Thompson, Brother’s in law Huey (Girtha) Thompson, Huntsville, Al., Cleophus (Vera) Thompson, Ft. Washington, MD. The family also acknowledges other family members and friends.