Betty Willodean Ethridge Westerman

Born in Tennessee City, TN on May 6, 1931

Departed on August 31, 2010 and resided in Nashville, TN

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Westerman, Betty Willodean Ethridge, Age 79 of Nashville, TN passed away August 31, 2010. The oldest of five children, Willodean grew up as a farm girl in Humphreys County, Tennessee. With a family legacy of pastors and educators, her parents strongly instilled in her the value of a good education and service to others. At age 15, Willodean's youngest sibling contracted spinal meningitis, leaving her mentally disabled and needing continual home care. This led Willodean to have a strong interest in medicine. From these beginnings, she entered Saint Thomas School of Nursing in Nashville, graduating in 1952, and began an exceptional 54-year career as a Registered Nurse. After graduation from Saint Thomas, Willodean married Lynn Westerman. Their early years involved Lynn completing his military duties and college education while Willodean pursued her nursing career and caring for their two children. Upon Lynn's graduation, they settled in Nashville to raise their family. Even with a busy career, Willodean was first and foremost a loving wife and mother. For her children, there was never any doubt of her absolute love for them, exemplified by her unshakable devotion and attention to them. School, scouts, sports, music, dance, church... steadfast Mom was always there. Through her strong example and loving will, she instilled in her children a passion for living, a commitment to family and God, and a fearless sense of what is just and right. Willodean worked at numerous area medical facilities, most notably as head nurse in medical, surgical & obstetric units. However, she was always drawn to caring for the most needy among us - children with special needs - and provided faithful care for severely disabled homebound children the last years of her career. She loved her young patients and their families and remained close with them following her retirement. Willodean gave much of herself with true compassion and tenderness to countless souls. She was loved and respected by all who knew her. She loved with her whole heart and was a true friend, always ready to hear the latest. She loved to laugh, and never hesitated to share tears of joy and tears of sadness. Her deep love for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren was immense and her pride and joy in them knew no bounds. She was a wonderfully caring and loving example of how a woman can have a successful career and still wear the badge of "World's Best Mom". Most of all, for her family and friends, she left a deep and profound gift of what is most important to leave this world – a legacy of integrity, love, and forgiveness. She is preceded in death by her father, William L. Ethridge and mother, Martha Frances Betty Ethridge; neice, Starla Ethridge. She is survived by her children, Steven Lynn Westerman Elizabeth, and Lori Westerman Brooks Christopher; grandchildren, Scott Westerman Amy, Stephanie Brooks, Shannon Brooks; great-grandchildren, Luke Westerman, Caroline Westerman; brothers and sisters, William L. Ethridge Jr. Elizabeth, Chloe Ann Taylor Bill, Ernest Ethridge Betty, Carol Jean Ethridge; numerous beloved nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be 11:00am Saturday at Harpeth Hills Funeral Home with The Reverend Stewart Gordon officiating. Burial will follow at Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens. Visitation will be 2:00pm – 8:00pm Friday at Harpeth Hills Funeral Home, 9090 Hwy 100, Nashville, TN, 37221, 615-646-9292.

7 Comments to Betty Willodean Ethridge Westerman

  1. Jim,Cherrill, Jessica and Betsey Long
    September 2, 2010 12:00 am

    Dearest and precious friends , What a beautiful memorial for our sweet Willodean! We are so sorry for your loss. We treasure the times with her and will miss her stories. God Bless You all and May Gods Peace sustain you in these days now and ahead.

  2. The Crockarells
    September 2, 2010 12:00 am

    A sweet lady, mom & grandmother that will be missed.

  3. The Mullins Family
    September 3, 2010 12:00 am

    We are so sorry for your loss, Lori and family. We love you guys and will be praying for you. Hang on to those sweet memories! Duncan, Christie, and Haley

  4. Bill & Lucy Long
    September 3, 2010 12:00 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  5. Jessica Long
    September 3, 2010 12:00 am

    My thoughts are with you Brooks family. I’m so sorry for your loss. Gwee will most certainly be missed. I love you all so dearly.

  6. Pat Mote
    September 4, 2010 12:00 am

    I am sorry to hear about your mother’s passing. It was nice that you had several wonderful months to spend with her recently.
    I’m sure it meant a lot to her spending good quality time with her family.

  7. Lorna Wall and family
    September 4, 2010 12:00 am

    Lori, the circus lady, as you will always be remembered. Your mother must have been a wonderful person because you are a wonderful person. You are she was kind, caring thoughtful and loved God. Jesus was waiting for her with open arms to give her the comfort that she needed. Keep her in your heart, she is there always with her. Love you always Lorna