Betty Lou Navies was born November 12, 1957, to John and Betty Givens. She was the sixth of seven children born to this union. Betty was a very beautiful, bright, and loving child who enjoyed playing outside and going on long bicycle rides. She was raised on a church pew, and was baptized in Jesus Name and filled with the Holy Ghost during vacation bible school. She was very social both inside and outside of the church. She had a magnetic personality that drew many admirers and close friends. She was also a highly opinionated and sassy young woman. She was never one to bite her tongue, and she would “tell it like it is” whether you wanted to hear it or not. She was not one to be passed over or pushed around.
Betty was very smart and had an interest in learning. She began her education at Valencia Park Elementary School, and O’Farrell Junior High School before graduating from Morse High School. She was an avid writer and poet, and enjoyed making people laugh. She had a nurturing and compassionate heart that she wanted to share with others. As she began to embark on adulthood, she thought about her future, and was very confident that she wanted to become a nurse. Although she did not go to nursing school immediately after high school, she did start a new and exciting journey raising her two children, Anissa and Jay. Betty loved children. She would always have a house full of kids from the daycare she ran for many years. Her children, and several nieces and nephews were also found running around the house on any given day. She was known as the “favorite” aunt who was always welcoming and inviting, cooking vittles, and having talent shows in the den.
Betty never gave up on her nursing dream. She attended and graduated with a degree as a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) from the Educational Cultural Complex (ECC). Many years later she completed her degree as a Registered Nurse (RN). She went on to work for the blood bank for many years. Later, she ran a dialysis clinic, was charge nurse and supervisor over nursing departments and head nurse of a community clinic. Betty was an excellent nurse and knew her stuff. She was as much a skilled technician and as she was a medical advocate for herself, her kids, and her family.
Betty was a passionate woman, who wore her heart on her sleeve. She was never afraid of confronting issues head on. All of her loved ones can attest to being graced with a thorough tongue lashing or two. She was a fighter even from childhood. She struggled along the way, as many of us do. She battled her own demons and would get knocked down at times, but she would get up over and over again. That is truly Betty’s greatest success; it was her ability to keep trying, even until the end.
On May 8, 2020, Betty Lou Navies was called home to eternal rest. She was preceded in death by her parents John and Betty Givens. Left to treasure her legacy and memory are: her children Anissa Dillard (James), and son Jay Seymore (Jabez); her sisters: Jean Bowdan (Freddie), Anita Smith, Adrienne Nears (Kenneth), and Kathy Johnson (Timothy); her brothers John and Jimmy Givens; her grandchildren Lauryl, Maya, and Jaylen; and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.
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