Mom lost her battle with COPD and AFIB on January 19th, she was 82 years old. She had been ill since her stroke in 2010 which changed her life forever. Betty was always a vibrant and independent woman who loved her children, grand-children and great-grandkids. She was always about her family and what she could do for them. Mom loved her dog Maggie and it was heartbreaking when she could no longer care for her when she required full time care and moved into Pruitt Health. She asked about Maggie up until her death, missing her baby.
Mom loved the beach, every year we would pack up and go for at least a week every summer that was possible. She could lie in the sun for hours, loved watching the ocean and just relax. She loved baseball, a diehard Atlanta Braves fan. She played softball in school and never gave up her love for the sport. She loved to take care of other people, up until her stroke she took care of a wonderful elderly couple. She loved Christmas and making it the best day for her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids but she had to take the tree down Christmas day, no presents under the tree, no tree! She had a sweet tooth that would cause most people to become diabetic. Candy, cake, pie, it didn’t matter she just had to have her sugar. Mom may not have had much but she would give whatever she may have to someone in need. She hated giving up driving and begged the lady at the DMV to give her a license instead of an ID. She promised she wouldn’t actually drive, just wanted to know that it had not been taken away. The lady was so sweet but kept explaining that was not allowed but Mom would not give up until I had to force her to leave! She was always so determined.
Mom’s middle name is Dell, she never liked it. Her nieces and nephews would call her Aunt Bedell. We were in a store one day with my cousins Debbie and Cindy I think buying school clothes. They kept calling her Aunt Bedell. The sales person as she was writing up the ticket asked “How do you spell Bedell?” That went over like a lead balloon. Mom explained that was NOT her name, it was Betty. That poor lady was so embarrassed and of course Mom was not happy with the girls. But as always, she got over it and move on.
Mom loved her friends. No matter her situation she would stop what she was doing and go to help a friend if they were in need. She loved helping and being there for people. She took care of her parents, then she helped take care of her sister until her death. She hated being alone and it was hard to be the last sibling. She loved having people visit and spend time with her so the last year was especially devastating. But Mom was a trooper and did her best to get through the loneliness even though with the dementia she would forget why she was there and what was happening around her. She could tell a good story though and believe every word. Listening to hear in our calls, you never knew what inventive story she would come up with and swear it had happened. I only wish we all could have spent more in person time with her.
Mom had a full life but it was devastating to watch over the last year when COVID took over everyone’s life and we were limited to video calls, visits behind walls of plastic, and dropping off her favorite treats. She was treated very well by the staff and they all came to say goodbye in the end. It was extremely hard for her dealing with the isolation. She was not alone her last three days and recognized voices and would try to respond even though she could not speak. Knowing that she is no longer isolated and with her heavenly family is some consolation but does not fill the hole in our hearts.
Mom was preceded in death by her husband Barney Odell Sutton, her parents, Jesse and Ruth Hafner, her brothers, Earl, Herbert, Bobby, Charles and Ray Hafner and sister Sadie Robinson and son Michael Burton. She is survived by her daughter Janice May and son Odell Sutton. She has four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
I think one of her greatest joys was learning in 2019 that the son she had given up for adoption had lived a good life with two children and two grandchildren. When she met Michael’s family in July of 2019, I think that made her heart full again knowing that had a good life but saddened that he had passed away before she could meet him. I believe that the two had the most wonderful meeting in heaven when she was called home. I am sure that he fit right in with the rest of the Hafner clan that was already there and it was the best heavenly reunion any mother could ask for. Knowing that she is at peace in the arms of our Father and her family gives us some consolation for the piece of us that we all lost that day.
There will be a graveside internment at Unity Cemetery in Fort Mill, SC on February 13th at 1:00. Please wear masks and social distancing for the service. In lieu of flowers please donate to your local animal shelter or Meals on Wheels.
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