OBITUARY

Betty Jane Kerley

February 16, 1933March 11, 2019
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Kerley, Betty Jane 86 of Knoxville, TN went to be with the Lord and her family Monday, March 11, 2019. She was a long time member of New Hopewell Baptist Church. Betty retired from Summit Medical Group in 1998 as an X-Ray Technician. She was preceded in death by spouse, Wade Kerley; parents, Louis and Ollie Franklin; sisters, Agnes "Sissy" Brown and Bobbie Meade; brothers, Lawrence Franklin and Bud Franklin. Betty is survived by sons, Jeff (Mary) Kerley of Smyrna, TN, Kenneth Kerley of Knoxville, TN; daughters, Robin Kerley of Cody, WY, Kristi (Duddley) Kerley-Cruze of Knoxville,TN; grandchildren, Michael Franklin, Mikayla Franklin, Jackson Cruze; several nieces, nephews and extended family. A special thanks to the staff, especially Dolly, Lottie, Tosh, and Jamie, of the Gardens at the Courtyard for their exceptional care of Mom. Family will receive friends Thursday, March 14th from 5-7pm at Berry Funeral Home on Chapman Hwy. Funeral Service will take place Friday, March 15th at 12:00pm at Berry Funeral Home with procession to East Tennessee Veteran's Cemetery on Lyon's View for interment directly following service. Dr. Michael Mott and Rev. Kent Williams officiating.

  • FAMILY

  • Wade Kerley, Husband
  • Louis Franklin, Father
  • Ollie Franklin, Mother
  • Agnes (Sissy) Brown, Sister
  • Bobbie Meade, Sister
  • Lawrence Franklin, Brother
  • Bud Franklin, Brother
  • Jeff (Mary) Kerly, Son
  • Kenneth Kerley, Son
  • Robin Kerley, Daughter
  • Kristi (Duddley) Kerley-Cruze, Daughter
  • Michael Franklin, Grandchild
  • Mikayla Franklin, Grandchild
  • Jackson Cruze, Grandchild

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, March 14, 2019
  • Funeral Service Friday, March 15, 2019
  • Committal Service Friday, March 15, 2019
REMEMBERING

Betty Jane Kerley

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Biography

      Betty Jane Kerley was a woman for whom actions would speak louder than words. Her life motto might well have been “if it isn’t logical, it’s not important.” The qualities of being fair, just and the ability to recognize what was right were clearly driving forces in Betty’s life. She was also the kind of person who could respect a “do not disturb” sign, whether it was real or implied. She was analytical and observant, with an ability to be simultaneously spontaneous and keenly perceptive. Betty was modest in her actions and extremely literal in her thoughts and in the manner in which she communicated with others. When Betty said something, she meant it. All those who knew her appreciated this trademark quality.

      Betty was born on February 16, 1933 at at home in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her parents were Louis and Ollie Franklin. Betty was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. Even as a small child, Betty wanted to understand what was right and what was wrong in any given situation. As Betty grew older, she realized the importance of being treated fairly, and in return, she treated everyone around her the same way. This belief in fair play served Betty well throughout her life and despite her natural shyness; she enjoyed a solid group of friends.

      Since Betty sought to treat those around her with respect, she often found herself in the role of playing peacemaker within her family. She was comfortable in working through the types of sibling rivalry situations that quite often occur, because she loved the challenge of conflict resolution. She would look at the most reasonable and practical ways to settle any disputes. Betty was raised with four siblings. She had an older sister Agnes, two older brothers Bud and Lawrence and a twin sister Bobbie. Betty was constantly involved in activities with her siblings. Betty and her siblings had the typical rivalries while growing up, but they shared many life experiences.

      During her childhood, family and friends viewed Betty as a quiet and reserved person with what most would consider a calm and tranquil demeanor. In fact, she was a fairly curious child who had the ability to entertain herself and didn’t require much in the way of outside stimulation. A great deal of Betty’s free time was spent learning how and why the things around her worked. She was an active child who loved being outdoors and absorbing all the sensory input that nature could provide. She was in the Young High marching band.

      The fact that she was curious was an asset to Betty while she was in school. She possessed strong study skills and good concentration. She relished the task of scrutinizing problems, investigating all of the options and then solving them. Betty enjoyed tackling the project that was right in front of her and working it straight through to its conclusion. Sometimes, she would become so involved in the process of problem solving that she would lose awareness of her surroundings. Experience was Betty’s best teacher. She graduated from Young High School in 1951. She enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers. The teacher she enjoyed learning from the most was Mrs. Ramsey.

      The same qualities that served as assets for Betty while she was in high school were tools that built success in her college years. Her ability to work through problems and assignments without wasting time and energy demonstrated to her instructors that she possessed a real “stick to it” attitude that allowed her to succeed despite an underlying desire to defer making difficult decisions. Betty was an analytical and an independent thinker, qualities that allowed her to develop and implement effective strategies and techniques to meet her college workload. She earned her X-Ray Tech from Knoxville General Hospital in 195T. Her favorite courses were X-Ray Tech.

      Those who didn’t know Betty well might have thought her to be objective and somewhat emotionally detached, but family and friends who were close to her knew that she was capable of unexpected flashes of humor. Betty’s good friends tended to be “thinkers” like herself. Even though the circle of friends was somewhat small, it was a strong and loyal group, and Betty liked nothing better than to spend her free time with them. Betty was well known for always being up front and open, never hiding her true feelings, qualities that drew deep loyalty from her friends because they understood and appreciated her for the person she was. Another quality that people admired in Betty was her ability to link cause and effect and apply the appropriate connection in her assessment of any new situation. While growing up, some of her best friends were Fay Boling Denney, Bonnie Cannon and Glennda Payne Burnett. Later in life, she became friends with Bonnie Cannon and Joe Frazier.

      This same loyalty and up front honesty Betty shared with her friends carried over to other aspects of her life, including her relationships with her family. On May 17, 1952, Betty exchanged wedding vows with Wade Gainor Kerley at the Free Grace Baptist Church of Knoxville, Tennessee. The marriage became a solid relationship, due in part to Betty’s skill at bringing fresh energy and clarity to meeting Wade's needs. She was a great listener who enjoyed the couple’s “together” time, especially when it came to celebrating special occasions.

      As the family grew, Betty was easily able to adapt to the changes and challenges of parenthood. Betty was blessed with four children, two sons Jeff and Kenny and two daughters Robin and Kristi. They were also blessed with three grandchildren, Michael, Mikayla and Jackson. Betty was never impulsive in dealing with family problems. Instead, she would carefully think things through before implementing the solution in a logical and objective manner. Betty was a strong, clear communicator who excelled at eliminating confusion by making matters crystal clear to all those involved. At the same time, Betty’s inventive nature could turn some of the boring old household chores into a fun activity for the family.

      In her work life, Betty was the kind of person who had no difficulty in taking on a project and seeing it through to its completion. She excelled at dealing with those pesky details that can derail some people, and once she understood exactly why she was working on a project, she could plow full steam ahead. For Betty, being able to grasp the logical components of any task was significant to her in appreciating its importance. Even if she worked alone on an assignment, Betty was able to incorporate and welcome new insights from co-workers, and she would readily use them if they improved the process. Her primary occupation was X-Ray Tech. She was employed for 20 years at Blount Orthopedic and Summit Medical Group. Betty always made the effort to be a team player, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done.

      Betty had the ability to stay calm and the determination to do what was necessary to get the job finished, traits that helped her enjoy sports. Recreational sports included bowling. Betty was also something of a sports fan and enjoyed following her favorite events whenever she got the opportunity.

      Betty was an asset to any organization she joined. In many ways, she was a woman of action who would rather tackle a job than spend time chatting about irrelevant things. She worked well on small committees and excelled at focusing on the important details without getting bogged down by the unnecessary parts of an assignment. In high school, Betty was a member of the Band.

      Religion and faith were important to Betty. She held dear the faith and values she derived from her beliefs. She was a member of new Hopewell Baptist Church for 39 years. During that time, she was active in the choir.

      Betty appreciated the occasions when she was able to travel and get away on a vacation. She enjoyed learning about different locales and was open to exploring new and different places. Favorite vacation spots included Favorite vacations included Florida. She thoroughly enjoyed the task of gathering and analyzing travel information as she prepared for an upcoming trip.

      Betty was a lover of animals and cherished her pets. One of Betty’s favorites was Buffy a mixed breed dog. They were best friends for 18 years. Her family was rounded out by her several dogs and cats.

      As her retirement approached, Betty viewed the event as just one more project to research and solve. So, when the day finally arrived in 1998, she was well prepared. In retirement, she found new pleasure in being a Pink Lady at Fort Sanders Hospital.

      Betty passed away on March 11, 2019 at Fort Sanders Hospital in Knoxville. Massive stroke and dimentia. She is survived by her children, Robin, Jeff, Kenny and Kristi and her grandchildren Michael, Mikayla and Jackson. Services were held at Berry Funeral Home in Knoxville, Tennessee. Betty was laid to rest in East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery on Lyons View in Knoxville, Tennessee.

      Betty strongly believed that talk is cheap. She was the type of person who would show others her feelings through her actions. She was practical and realistic but was able to be flexible when the need arose. She had a curiosity about the things around her and tried to experience life directly rather than sit back and talk about it. The experiences she treasured most were those she shared with her loved ones. Betty Jane Kerley will be greatly missed.