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Bettye Jane Washington Shelton was born in Springfield, TN on June 1, 1938, to the late James Ed and Willie Mae Washington (both proceeded her in death). She was 1 of 10 children, 5 proceeded her in death, Mattie Summers, Emma Fields, Thomas Washington and Ned “NT” Trotter Washington. She was a graduate of Bransford High School, where she was one of the leading soloists in the Girls Glee Club, Bransford High Chorus and a member of the marching band.
Bettye received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education from Rust College, in Holly Springs, Mississippi and after graduation, she taught Health/Physical Education to K-12 students in Metro Nashville Public Schools, where she retired after over 20 years of service.
Bettye loved singing and playing the piano and began her musical journey at the age of thirteen. She began playing the piano for Banks Chapel UMC, where she met and eventually married Joe K. Shelton, Sr., on December 24, 1966. She continued to spread her love of music by organizing, singing and playing the piano for many gospel groups in Springfield, McMinnville, Sparta and Nashville Tennessee, some of those groups included The Now Group of Gordon Memorial UMC (where she continued to be an active member of the choir), The Willing Travelers and The Gospel Harmonnetts, just to name a few. United Methodist Church, in McMinnville, TN.
Bettye was a song writer and recording artist with Carrie Records, where she recorded the songs “Love Sweet Love: and Everything is Going to be Alright”. She was a member of Broadcast Music Inc. and a published author, with her first book, “Always Hold on to that Cross, Now I know What it Means”. Bettye served as pastor to Simpson Chapel United Methodist Church, Farmington, TN, Caldwell United Methodist Church, Petersburg, TN and Braden Memorial United Methodist Church, Nashville, TN. She also served as the president of Nashville Black Methodist for Church Renewal (BMCR).
She leaves to cherish her memories, her husband Rev. Joe K. Shelton, Sr (Retired), three children, Sheila Suddeth, Teresa Williams (Aaron) and Joe K. Shelton, Jr. (Antionette). Nine grandchildren Kaila Suddeth, William D. Corlew, IV, Monique Corlew, Nia Shelton, Joe K. Shelton, III, Tyree Williams, Omari Williams, Kasmar Williams, Alani Williams and one great grandchild Nevaeh Corlew. Siblings, Esther Mae Gardner, Evelyn Finch (Samuel), Jimmie Cantrell and William Washington (Connie), in-laws Robert Shelton (Loretta), Eugene Shelton and David Shelton, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family. Viewing Friday, December 10, 2021, 1-6 at fh. Visitation Saturday, December 11, 2021, 11-12:00 p.m. with funeral to follow at Gordon Memorial UM Church on Herman St. Burial in Greenwood Cemetery North
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