Betty Lou (Dewey) Medley
Mamaw Medley formally of Knoxville, TN, passed away, appropriately on All Saints Day, Sunday, October 30, 2022 at 96 yrs., 6mo. and 14 days, proudly outliving Her Majesty the Queen, and in her own right was the true queen of our family. Born in Bertrand, Nebraska on April 16,1926 to Charles Henry Dewey and Vera Cole, she was the eldest of 10 children, and a second mother to them all. Lost will be the smallest of details growing up in a large family of a small mid-western town, and the coming of age in an era read now, only on Google or in the setting of a good novel.
Mamaw was a young girl in Nebraska during the Dust Bowl, experienced the ration boxes of the Great Depression, and as a teenager in California witnessed her colleagues taken from their jobs to encampments after Pearl Harbor. At the age of nineteen, a rogue Betty, without a driver’s license, came to Tennessee helping her aunt and uncle drive a 1941 Chevy packed with 7 siblings, pulling a trailer full of belongings. With a selective memory, she told us of a love left behind to start a new life in Knoxville, which soon lead to being smitten by a young soldier, she met on a city bus. After returning from war and borrowing $5 from a brother for the ceremony, James and Betty were married July 1946 staying married through thick and thin for 64 years, until Pop preceded her in death in 2010.
In addition to four siblings, and many nieces and nephews, Mamaw leaves behind her one and only favorite son, Charles James Medley of Islamorada, the responsibility of following in her footsteps to her four granddaughters Shannan(Shannon )Skidmore of Townsend, Jennifer (Wayne) Duerer of Alcoa, Nicole and Samantha Medley of New Smyrna Beach, and her truly favorite people, great-grandchildren Emily Kate and Joseph Skidmore, Sophia and Isabel Duerer to whom she would tell, “go to school, do your homework, and learn from your mistakes, as they CAN be corrected.”
Mamaw always had a book on the nightstand, the newspaper delivered for the crossword puzzle and obituaries, and preferred sweets over dinner, unless you mentioned Olive Garden or a blooming onion! Her pastimes included reading, working a jigsaw puzzle, and watching just about any competitive sport on TV, which she sometimes could be found listening in Spanish after having trouble working the clicker. Mamaw spent endless hours playing Scrabble, Tri-Ominos and gin rummy with all of us. Some of her best competition came late at night playing her right-hand vs her left-hand. Mamaw’s all time favorite movie was the Sound of Music, but the complete series of Longmire may have been viewed more, as she would say, “He can leave his boots under my bed anytime!” She will be fondly remembered for her delicious Mamaw jelly, cakes, and pies. She never followed a recipe. Measurements were determined using the favorite coffee cup or the palm of her hand, probably because she didn’t like being told what to do.
Mamaw believed in hard work, keeping busy, and doing everything to the best of your ability. She thought she could do anything or at least learn how. Mamaw always wanted to assist if she thought it would help save time, save money, or teach you something. Mamaw was the biggest supporter of our ideas, careers, projects, sports, and life stages whether she approved or not. Opinions were often kept quiet. Words of wisdom were freely given, and if one did ask for advice or her thoughts, one had better be ready to hear the truth. The only time we remember her giving up was after countless attempts at teaching us how to make t-shirt quilts. It was just easier for her to do them herself. Betty’s sewing skills had been perfected by the many hours at Standard Knitting Mill from 1949-1988.
To those of you still reading, Mamaw would (most likely) consider you either friend or family. Thank you for loving her as your own and know the secret recipe to her famous pecan pie is on the back of the Karo Syrup bottle!!
Funeral arrangements are provided by Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City with a visitation from 5:00pm to 8:00pm on Thursday, November 3, 2022. Family and friends will meet on Friday, November 4, 2022 at 10:00am at Woodlawn Cemetery off Chapman Hwy for a graveside service.
Condolences can be left for the family at www.mynattfh.com