(Due to Covid-19 concerns, all who attend the Graveside Services are REQUIRED to wear a face mask and practice social distancing)
Today we pause to pay honor and tribute to our mother Mrs. Betty Jean Hamilton who was sweet, delicate as a flower, and gentle as a lamb. She was very strong with a peaceful spirit, shared love, patience, guidance and many years of wisdom with anyone whom she encountered. She never met a stranger.
On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, Mrs. Betty Hamilton departed this earthly life at Memorial Mission Hospital in Asheville, without fear or hesitation to be with her Lord and Savior.
She was born July 31, 1934 to the late James and Franny Sloan. She graduated from Stephens Lee High School which was the only accredited all black Secondary School in Asheville, NC at the time. After High School Mrs. Betty began doing what she loved most which was taking care of others and providing education.
In the year 1955 she joined in holy matrimony to the love of her life, the late Cletus D. Hamilton, Sr. They enjoyed 41 years of marriage until his passing in October of 1996. Mrs. Betty wanted everyone to know that “Clete was the only man for me”. This Union was blessed with one son Cletus G. Hamilton in 1955. Cletus G, “CG” was undoubtedly Betty’s greatest accomplishment in life. The two shared an infrangible bond that can only be shared between a mother and a son.
She was formerly employed with Trinity Episcopal Church, Hill Street Baptist Church Daycare, and a domestic worker for a number of years. In 1996 she began working for Asheville’s very own Foster Grandparent Program where she assisted with love, and felt educating school age children was most important. She worked at Claxton Elementary School from 1996 until 2010, and only stopped due to health related issues. “Miss Betty”, as she was affectionately called, loved children and enjoyed assisting with educating them over her many years of child care and teaching.
During this time after the passing of her oldest granddaughter Janaya Brinkley, Mrs. Betty without hesitation took on the responsibility of caring, nurturing, loving, and providing for four of Janaya’s children, Aaron, Tashawna, Tyneisha
Hamilton, and Daniella Brinkley. She refused to split the children and raised them from childhood to adulthood. It’s not often in life that one receives the blessings of having a “second mother,” and in acknowledgement of her sacrifice the children honor her as they would their mother.
Betty accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior at a very early age, and later became a member of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church. As a member of St. Paul, Mrs. Betty served on the board of the Willing Workers, the respected position of primary Sunday School teacher, as well as a Vacation Bible School teacher for many years. As she gracefully aged, she began serving as part of the kitchen staff at the church, enjoying food preparation and service for Sunday School as well as for other church functions until 2011.
As a reliable caregiver Mrs. Betty maintained an open home to family, friends, loved ones and neighbors, and continued to watch and care for the children of her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, neighbors and friends, well past the age of 70.
In 2004 she inherited her “forever son” Kejuan Hamilton whom she raised from birth until her departure. Mrs. Betty and Kejuan were inseparable. She raised him to be the eyes, ears, and muscle she lost over the years and with honor Kejuan took on that responsibility. Kejuan was Mrs. Betty’s keeper. She relied on Kejuan for many important everyday tasks.
In her later years, Mrs. Betty remained in her home enjoying the simple things that life had to offer. She woke each morning thanking the Lord for health and strength, and started EVERY morning with her tea and coffee. Mrs. Betty enjoyed weekly outings with CarePartners PACE program for senior citizens, watching her daily lineup of television programs, spending every afternoon with CG, talking on the phone with her loved ones, playing with her dog KJ, and being surrounded by all her offspring. We all were truly honored to be caregivers in an attempt to give her back a portion of the love and care that she provided to us over her 87 years.
In addition to her parents and her loving husband, she was preceded in death by brothers Thomas, Jack, and Jimmy Sloan, sisters Mary F. Baird and Hazel Sloan, stepsons Joseph and James Hamilton, stepdaughter Lila Bell Mitchell, granddaughter Jenaya Brinkley, and great-great grandson Za’Vence Martin.
Left to cherish her memory is her son Cletus G. Hamilton (Velma), stepdaughter Dovie Jones (Roy) of Detroit, Michigan, sister-in-law Rudy Sloan of Spartanburg, SC, four grandchildren, nineteen great-grandchildren, thirteen great-great- grandchildren, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, many other relatives and friends.
A graveside service honoring the life of Mrs. Betty J. Hamilton will be held on Saturday, August 28th at 2:00 pm at Violet Hill Cemetery, 454 Hazel Mill Road, Asheville, NC. Viewing will be held on Friday August 27th from 11am – 7pm at Avery’s Memorial Chapel. The graveside service will be live streamed on Avery’s Memorial Chapel’s Facebook page.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Betty Jean Hamilton, please visit our floral store.