In Loving Memory of Betty J. Calhoun
January 6, 1953 - January 8, 2021
On Tuesday, January 6, 1953, on
Reedville Farms, a plantation in Dumas, Arkansas, a beautiful baby girl named
Betty Jean Calhoun was born to Anna L.
Jordan and Herman Calhoun. Betty was the eldest of six children born to her
mother. She was raised by her maternal grandmother Izora Hillman "Ma Boozie," whom she
adored. At the age
of four, her mother Anna met and
eventually married Rufus Garvin, who became Betty's daddy.
Betty received her education in
Arkansas and Colorado Schools. While in school, Betty picked cotton and was
paid 13 cents a day. She graduated high
school in 1971.
Betty Jean accepted Christ and was
baptized at age 9 in Colorado; she later became an Usher.
Betty gave birth to her first child
Michelle Yvonne Hawkins on May 15, 1969. Unfortunately, her child only lived
one week. She would soon give birth to
her eldest living child, Toni L. Hawkins. In 1971, Betty moved to California.
A short time after this came her third
child, Tracy A. Hawkins. In 1975, Betty gave birth to her eldest son, Deric L. Tucker.
In 1982, Betty and her children moved into their own apartment, and in March of
1983, Patricia M. Gaines
arrived. In 1987, Betty met Billy M.
Dillard "Big Man." They were in love. On
September 17, 1988, they were married. In
October of that same year, Betty Dillard gave birth to her last and Bill's only
biological child Anna O. Dillard. Betty and Bill enjoyed traveling
together and would sometimes take her mother and children with them.
In July of 1992, Betty re-dedicated her
life to God and joined Shiloh M.B.C. under their new Pastor, Rev. Joe H.
Waller. Sis. Betty immediately got to
work as an Usher! She loved ushering! She said and knew it was her calling!
She would often quote the 84th Psalm
verse 10, especially the 'b' clause: "I'd rather be a doorkeeper in the house
my God than to dwell in the tents of
wickedness." In almost 30 years, Sis. Betty NEVER
left her post!!! If there was a service of any kind, especially at
Shiloh, you could count on Sis. Betty to be there to give you a program with a
kind word and a smile. Shortly after getting
settled in ushering, Sis. Betty was asked to be the announcing clerk for her church;
she accepted. Like anything else she did for God, she took the job seriously.
Every announcement from then until now,
you can hear her voice.
She worked in every capacity of Shiloh
with only the exceptions of preacher, deaconess, Pastors'
Committee and choir (although she would
sing from her post on the door). Sis. Betty was the Cleaning Staff, Senior
Usher Board President & current
Vice President, Junior Usher Board Supervisor, Children and Youth Choir
Supervisor, Senior Mission Secretary, Improvement
Committee Financial Secretary, Recording and Corresponding Secretary, the Treasurer,
Acting Superintendent of the Sunday School, eventually a Sunday School Teacher,
Vacation Bible School Kitchen Staff (with Sis. Waller),
Charter Member of The Women's Fellowship, member of The Healing Corner, Children
and Youth Supervisor for the Pacific District Missionary Baptist Association,
Announcing Clerk, Sick (and shut-in) Committee Chairperson, Birthday
Committee Chairperson, Praise Dance Team Assistant/Supervisor (with Sis. Mary
Reed), Piano Lesson assistant to the late Rev. Lucious McGee... Sis. Betty
Calhoun served her church WELL! The last Sunday she was physically able
to be in the building was the 4th Sunday, September 27, 2020. After this, she constantly
expressed her desire to be at her church. But she never stopped praying or
talking to God. Even on her sickbed, she still was Sick Committee
Chairperson and would call text, and check on others.
Betty loved to cook. You could anad
will never find a better pot of greens! Collards, mustards, turnips; didn't matter!
Oh my God! Her dressing was superb. Her baby back ribs were to die for. But her
children would be upset at whoever got
the last of the greens, though!
Sis. Betty loved her family and was
always happy to see them. Betty had known some hardships in her life, which is
why she would feed you and even shelter
you if necessary. She loved God so it became easier to love His people.
Betty Jean Calhoun departed this
troublesome life on Friday, January 8, 2021 (which was the same day as her
eldest son Deric L. Tucker's
homegoing service,) her husband Billy M. Dillard, eldest daughter Michelle Y.
Hawkins, mother Anna L. Garvin, father Herman
Calhoun, her daddy Rufus Garvin, grandmother Izora Hillman, sister-in-love Evon
Jordan-Garvin, and friend Rev. Ollie Gaines all preceded her in transition.
Sis. Betty leaves to cherish her legacy
four daughters: Toni L. Hawkins, Tracy A. Hawkins (April), Patricia M.
Gaines and Anna O. Dillard; one son
Milo D. Tucker, 2 granddaughters: Kirsten L. Jordan (Christofere, Sr.) and
Amira Shyeve; 3 grandsons: Japheth
Lino-Tucker (Marissa), Brandon Smith, and Logan A. Dillard; 7
great-grandchildren: Jaden, Phallon, Krista, Christofere,
Jr., Justin, Sariah Jordan, and Ja'Veah Lino-Tucker; 5 siblings: Mark A.
Garvin, Linda M. Robinson (Jeffrey, Sr.),
Kelton L. Garvin, Sr., Kevin D. Garvin, Sr. and Tonya D. Garvin; a special
friend of over 30 years Mrs. Deneise Lamar and a
host of nieces, nephews and a plethora of cousins and friends. -Psalm 23:6