Betty Hayes, age 92, died July 5, 2021, at Assured Hospice in Cartersville, GA, with several health complications.
She did, however, enjoy 90 full years of extraordinarily good health and led a full life while continuing to work in her beloved garden.
She was born March 17, 1929, in Deerfield Beach, FL, and was a second-generation resident of Broward County, FL. She was the daughter of Charles Archer whose family was from the Bahamas eventually settling in Key West, FL. She had wonderful memories of spending time at her grandparents' historic home in Key West on Caroline Street. Her mother was Sue Horne Archer and her grandmother Ardena Horne and her husband were one of the first five families to live in Deerfield Beach, having moved there in 1909.
Betty graduated from Pompano Beach High School in 1947 and immediately went to work at City Hall in Deerfield. Little did she know she would soon become the city’s youngest City Clerk and acting city manager when required. She resigned in 1965 after 18 years and several years later moved to Maggie Valley, NC, where she also became their new city clerk, serving another 18 years until her retirement in 1994.
She is preceded in death by her husband of 44 years, Dutch Hayes; her younger sister, Gloria Archer Richardson; and son-in-law, Kirk Smith. Betty is survived by her daughter, Kathy Hayes Smith, and nieces, nephew and many cousins.
As the saying goes, Betty was "a piece of work" and never met a stranger. If you met her, it is likely you didn’t forget her. She had a great sense of humor, was extremely smart, hard-working, conscientious and generous. Betty was known as outspoken and did not back down from her beliefs, no matter the subject. In fact, her practice of witnessing to most everyone she encountered was commonplace, yet to the chagrin of her daughter at times! She loved being with her family where there was always much laughter and enjoyed being the center of attention on most occasions. Betty loved to teach the Bible, tell stories and jokes, and was always an active, involved member of whatever church she was a member of. Most recently, that was Tabernacle Baptist Church, and she led her class, the Pinson/DeVault Life Group, on her 90th birthday. She taught Sunday School for almost 70 years.
In hindsight, I recall a rumbling in the early morning hours of her passing. I thought it was thunder, but I now believe it just might have been her arriving in Heaven! I do hope they were prepared. She was loved by many and will be missed by many.
A celebration of life service was be held at Owen Funeral Home Chapel, 12 Collins Drive, on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. Please, no flowers, and any donations may be made in her memory to the charity or organization of your choice.