Betty Jane May Stewart, 73, passed away on May 30, 2021, in St. Louis.
A joint Celebration of Life will be held for Betty and Bill at a future date.
Betty was born in McComb on Jan. 25, 1948, to Eddy and Ina May.
In 1964, she met the love of her life, William Franklin Stewart Jr., in his hometown of South Fulton, Tenn. They made their long-distance relationship work by spending hours riding trains back and forth from Mississippi to Tennessee. Betty graduated from McComb High School in 1966 and married Bill later that year, on Dec. 16.
Shortly after their wedding, Betty and Bill moved to the Panama Canal Zone, where Bill was stationed in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1969. Following their time in the Canal Zone, Betty and Bill moved to Kentucky, where Bill began his career in financial services. Betty and Bill then moved to Newburgh, Ind., where they raised their three sons.
Betty cherished the time she and Bill spent living in Newburgh. She loved driving the kids around in her red Volkswagen Rabbit convertible, and one of her most memorable and proudest achievements was earning her pilot’s license and completing her first solo flight. Betty loved summers by the pool and taking care of her flower beds.
She and Bill were also active members of Newburgh United Methodist Church, and they met many lifelong friends during this time. When Betty’s two youngest sons were in high school, she and Bill enjoyed organizing and participating in various fundraising events for the Castle High School Athletic Booster Club and Castle Football Parents Club. During Castle’s 1994 state championship football season, Betty enjoyed tailgating with friends and could be found in the stands every Friday evening cheering for the Knights.
In 2000, Betty and Bill moved to Marco Island, Fla., where Betty participated in several clubs, including the Marco Island Cruise Club, Calusa Garden Club, Red Hat Society and Marco Island Yacht Club.
Betty and Bill were members of Wesley United Methodist Church, and they enjoyed countless lunches and dinners with friends at their favorite local restaurants, including the Snook Inn.
In 2014, Betty and Bill returned to the Midwest and moved to St. Louis to be closer to their sons and their families. While in St. Louis, Betty attended Manchester United Methodist Church, and she enjoyed spending time with friends and spoiling her favorite son of all, Bo Gator.
Betty will always be remembered as a wonderful wife, an irreplaceable mother and nana, a loving sister and an amazing friend. She loved gardening, shopping and traveling to destinations around the world including England, Hawaii, Ireland and Switzerland. She loved the beach and boating on Kentucky Lake and around Marco Island.
She was a true Southern lady and loved to cook and entertain. We will never forget her famous California chicken salad, onion pie and quiche. She also enjoyed baking with her grandkids, and the holidays will never be the same without her fudge and Milky Way cake.
Betty was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, William Franklin Stewart Jr.; and her parents, Eddy and Ina Greer May.
She is survived by her sons, William F. Stewart III, his wife Mary and their sons, Billy and Brandon, all of Mount Vernon, Ind., Benjamin L. Stewart and his wife Kelly of St. Louis, and J. Bradley Stewart, his wife Jenna and their children, Parker, Kate and Addison, all of Carmel, Ind.; her brothers, Bob and his wife Donna, Benny and his wife June, and Bonny and his wife Pam; numerous nieces and nephews, three great-grandchildren and her beloved Westie, Bo Gator.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the American Cancer Society or a charity of your choice in Betty’s memory.
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