Obituary for Betty Jean Cheatham Dawkins
12 September 1930 - 18 May 2021
Betty Jean Cheatham Dawkins passed peacefully in her sleep on 18 May 2021. She was 90 years old.
Betty was born in Meridian on 12 September 1930 to Thomas Lipsey Cheatham, Jr., and Bertha Elizabeth Kitchens (née Strauss). She was pre-deceased by her parents, a sister (Jerry Ann) who died in infancy, her stepmother Mamie Ruth Cheatham (née Glenn), her stepfather James Francis Kitchens, her husband of 49 years, Gilbert Lee Dawkins, Jr., her stepsisters Carolyn (Kay) Kitchens Durham and Betty Ruth Walker Hamrick, her son William Thomas (Bill) Dawkins, Sr., and great granddaughter (Adriana) Kershner.
Born and raised during the Great Depression and World War II, Betty and Gilbert raised their five children to be respectful, to value education, and to be well-rounded. An undercurrent that ran throughout Betty's life was a love of nature, wildlife, and her beloved pets. Raising five children, her home was a revolving door of children, friends, and neighbors. Although sometimes referred to by our friends as "The Warden," Mother was the glue that bound us all together, and she was loved, respected, and valued by her close-knit family. Betty's faith in Jesus Christ for her salvation was found at an early age, and her devotion grew as the years passed. She was a devoted member of The Church of the Way for many years. A collection of Betty's remembrances was recently published by her granddaughter, Lauryn Kelly: "Footprints on my Windshield and Rocks in my Dishwater".
In listing Betty's survivors below, spouses of Betty's children are shown in parentheses and her great-grandchildren are shown in brackets.
Her son Barry Gilbert Dawkins (Karie) of Richmond, VA, and their children: Lauryn (Matthew) Kelly [Ayla and Alistyr]; Gilbert (Micah) [William, Nathan]; Briana; and April (Dakota) Decker [Kryssa, Joel, Charlie].
Bill's surviving wife, Aleatha of Hiram, GA, and their sons: Bill, Jr. (Courtney) [Cayden and Eli]; and Artice Blake (Rick Wills).
Robert Lee (Bob) Dawkins of Meridian, MS and his children with former spouse Raelene Pittman: Stephanie (Josh) and Jonathan.
Bradley James Dawkins (Cathy) of Wurtsboro, NY.
Rebecca Cecelia (Becky) Dawkins Emblidge (Scott) of Hamilton, VA and their children: Ashley (Joel) Shorey [Ally, Will, Nathan, Angela]; Laura (Michael) West [Mason]; Katie (Jason) Coverdale [Zoe, Mallorie, Jason, Jr.]; Whitney (Caleb) Kershner [Colton, Tristan; Brayden, Weston]; Scott.
Arrangements will be through Stephen's Funeral Home in Meridian. Visitation will be 21 May 2021 from 11 AM to 12 noon at The Church of the Way 7387 State Boulevard Extension in Meridian, with funeral service following at 12 noon. Burial will be at Magnolia Cemetery in Meridian.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Betty's name to the Friends of Animals Society in Kanab, Utah.
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