Betty Jean Smith Erickson passed away on November 4, 2017 after a valiant struggle with Alzheimer’s. She was born on November 12, 1923 in Piedmont, South Carolina to the Reverend Albert Preston and Rose Ellen Reding Smith and is preceded in death by three brothers, Robert, Horace and Preston and a sister, Marie Smith Pinder. Her father was a Methodist Minister and served in several churches in Florida including Jacksonville, Winter Garden, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Madison where she graduated from High School. She loved and excelled in sports, playing basketball, tennis, and later golf for many years.
Jean received a B.A. from Vanderbilt University and an M.A. from Peabody College. She taught English at East Nashville Jr. High School and then was instrumental in organizing a Womens’ Physical Education Program at Cohn High School, coaching the womens’ tennis team from 1954 to 1960. She later went to business school, learned how to use computers and worked for a temp agency until being hired into the Provider Relations department at Health Spring. She retired in 2004 at age 82 after working there for ten years.
Jean had a beautiful voice and sang in the choir at McKendree Methodist Church and as alto soloist at First Lutheran Church for over 40 years, in addition to giving concerts at Centennial Park as part of the “Mayo Trio” in the 1950’s.
She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Ralph, her son, Ralph Jr., daughter Kathleen Bullock (Noel) grandsons, Gus and Sam Bullock and a host of nieces, nephews and friends. Her loving spirit and generosity and her dedication and service to the Lord are a beautiful and lasting legacy.
A memorial service will be held at First Lutheran Church (113 8th Avenue S, Nashville, TN) on Monday, November 13 at 10:30 am. Visitation at the church will begin at 8:30 am.