Betsy Mattingly Seale

December 28, 1940July 5, 2012

Betsy Lou Mattingly Seale passed away on July 5, 2012 after a brief illness. She was the daughter of the late Dr. Thomas Jasper Mattingly and Dorothy Doub Mattingly. Betsy spent her early childhood in Cynthiana, KY, and later moved with her family to Knoxville, TN where she went to high school. Even as a young girl she was known for her quick wit, effervescent personality, and kind and gentle spirit. Upon graduation from high school, she enrolled at the University of Alabama where she majored in English. She was a member of the Chi Omega sorority. At Alabama, she met her husband John Seale, Jr. Her time at the University laid the foundation for her love of all things “Alabama,” most importantly, Alabama football and Bear Bryant. After college, John and Betsy were married and she went on to do graduate work at Radcliffe College in Boston, and George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Her love of writing and literary pursuits set her off on a career path that was as impressive as it was varied. She started her career as Entertainment Editor at the Montgomery Advertiser-Journal. She went on to become a ninth grade English teacher in Birmingham, AL. A few years later, a job transfer brought John and Betsy to Greensboro, NC, a place they would call home for more than 40 years. Never able to sit idle, Betsy continued her career while raising her five children. In 1978, Betsy and John took over the Hamburger Square Post, a widely-known community newspaper in Greensboro, which Betsy raised and nurtured like one of her own children. Through the years, the Hamburger Square Post became an icon in the Greensboro community. In addition to publishing the HSP, she was Marketing Director of the State Street Merchants’ Association for several years. She worked in the Division of Continual Learning at UNC-G for more than five years, where she continued to blaze trails and make friends along the way.

Betsy was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Lazy Daisies Garden Club, The Wednesday Lecture Club of Greensboro, The Historical Book Club and the Junior League of Greensboro.

Her pride and joy was her family and to them she was everything. She is survived by her husband, John Francis Seale, Jr. and her five children: Kathryn Mattingly Seale Schmidt (John) of Alexandria, VA; Carolyn Chapman Seale Williams (Brad) of Charlotte; John Francis Seale III (Kristin) of Raleigh; Elizabeth (Betsy) Hilton Seale McArthur (Hamish) of Auckland, New Zealand and Joseph Turner Seale (Caroline) of Raleigh.

Her ten grandchildren were her treasures: Turner Henderson (14), Christine Mattingly (12) and Grayson Gettis Schmidt (8); John Preston (11) and Charles Barrett Williams (9); John Francis IV (5) and William Harrison Seale (2), Lucia Claire Seale McArthur (2), Harriet Porcher Seale (5) and Joseph Turner Seale, Jr. (2). The “grands,” as she called them, all loved and adored their “Mimi.” She could often be found sitting on the floor with them playing blocks, reading books or another fun game she had created.

Betsy should be remembered for the wisdom, joy and zest for life that she gave so unconditionally to everyone she met. A celebration of Betsy’s life will be held Monday, July 9, 2012 at 2:00 at First Presbyterian Church, 617 N. Elm Street, Greensboro, NC 27401.

Memorials may be made to The First Presbyterian Church or to the ARDS Foundation, 3330 Dundee Rd., Suite C4, Northbrook, IL 60062

On line condolences may be made at


  • Service of Remembrance Monday, July 9, 2012

Betsy Mattingly Seale

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July 17, 2012

Dear Carolyn: So sorry to hear of your loss. You and your family are in our prayers-
Sincerely and with love- Janet Beckert and Family-(CCK)

Mitzi Montooth

July 14, 2012

Tom, I am so sorry to read of the loss of your sister. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. From the messages I have read, your sister was loved and cherished by so many and has left a wonderful legacy for others to follow. May God bless and comfort you in the days to follow.

Evelyn Wilcox

July 14, 2012

Betsy and I have been friends since high school. She introduced me to my husband when they were both at Alabama. She was in my wedding and I was in hers. She was so smart and funny - and a wonderful friend. I will miss her forever.

gaynell dixon

July 12, 2012

John and family, I was shocked and saddened to read of Betsy's death in our FUMC bulletin today. We had been away for nine days and returned Monday PM.
I realized what a precious soul she was from our first meeting as Chi Omegas at the U of A! She had a very special ability to emit joy and although I didn't see her often enough, we were always able to pick up where we left off. In reading her obituary, I see how she left her mark in so many ways of which I was unaware.
God bless her and all of you as you struggle with the grief of losing her. You are in our prayers!

Betsey Karns

July 12, 2012

I will never forget meeting Betsy the first time in the 9th grade at Central HS. Betsey

Adrien Cotton

July 11, 2012

My heart is so heavy for all of you. I am a friend and colleague of Kathryn's in Alexandria and know how close she was to her beautiful mother. She clearly touched so many people's lives.

Prayers are being said for all of you at my church throughout the week during the Intentions portion of our service. The power of prayer is strong.

Please know there are many people who want to help you in any way they can.

Graham and Rachel Fuller

July 10, 2012

To the larger Seale family - all of us from Medford Lane are saddened by your loss. We choose to celebrate "Big Betsy's" life with many fond memories on her warmth, smile, and charm - especially to those who called her a neighbor. In the depth of your loss, we hope that you will find the strength to recall these and other fond memories of this great woman. Know that you can lean on those from Medford Lane whom you've always known to be your friends and admirers of your great family.

July 9, 2012

Even on a rainy day Betsy brought sunshine with her as she came in the door of the Mother Goose Shop! Once a month, with her sparkling smile and friendly manner, she would come by with a small loaf of homemade bread to say "Thank you" to us for having placed an ad in their wonderful Hamburger Square Post. She will always be one of my treasured memories of the Mother Goose years. My condolences to her family and all who loved her.

Margie Bowman

July 9, 2012

I've known Betsy for a number of years. She was a special lady. She will be missed. I extend my heartfelt sympathy to her family and friends. May God bless you in this time of sorrow.
~Carolyn Liu, Ofc. Mgr.
Junior League of Greensboro, NC, Inc.

Josie and Charlie Reeves

July 9, 2012

Big Betsy was such a spark and I'll always remember how kind and attentive she was when you were with if you were the only person in the room. What a lady.

The hole she leaves is great and I hope that the warm memories and the love of family and friends bring comfort during this difficult time.

All our love to a very special family,