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Betty Lewis

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Betty Bishop Lewis


Betty Bishop Lewis of Bagdad, Florida, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother was born on June 1, 1937, and passed after a heroic battle with cancer on June 8, 2012. A native of Moselle, Mississippi, she married James Richard Lewis, her high-school sweetheart in 1958, and in 2008, Betty and Richard celebrated a golden wedding anniversary.

Betty attended Milton High School and earned bachelors and masters degrees from Florida State University. Like her parents, Vernetta and Harvey Bishop, Betty was a skilled, dedicated, and accomplished educator, teaching elementary school in Venice, Florida, tutoring children in Frederick, Maryland, and serving as guidance counselor in Fort Myers, Florida, and Yorktown, Virginia. Upon retirement, Betty and Richard returned to Bagdad to build their dream house, where Betty's skills as a planner and master gardener made her yard and greenhouse a neighborhood showplace. She was especially talented with roses and camellias. Betty served with numerous community groups, including Bagdad Elementary School, Santa Rosa Master Gardeners, and most recently as president of the Bagdad Village Preservation Association.

Betty was devoted to children, first her own, Tony, Shelley, and Catherine, then to her many nieces and nephews, and finally to the hundreds of children she taught. She was a gourmet cook, who would experiment with exotic dishes such as Indian curry, but could also make wonderful Southern favorites such as biscuits, pot roast, and tomato gravy. She loved to make homemade candies, cookies, and pastries to share with family and friends. Betty was a skilled seamstress and was always engaged in new projects, from candle making to quilting.

Betty is survived by her husband, James Richard Lewis and her children: Richard Anthony "Tony" Lewis (wife Jae-Hwa Shin and their children Christian and Colin), Shelley Andrew (husband Bill Andrew, and their children Benjamin and Sarah), and Catherine Lewis (husband, John Companiotte and daughter Emma). She is also survived by beloved sisters Bobbie Jernigan and her husband George "Bunny" Jernigan; Elaine Williams and her husband Oswell "Ozzie" Williams; and sisters-in-law Joan Baxley and her husband Glenn "Peanut" Baxley; Ina Ferguson; and Ann Rader and her husband Robert Rader, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00p.m. Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at Lewis Funeral Home Milton Chapel.

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Published in Pensacola News Journal on June 12, 2012