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Betty Jean (Dixon) Hurst

Betty Jean (Dixon) Hurst, 92, of Canton, passed away on August 28th at Red Oaks Estates. Betty was born on December 2, 1929, in Panama to Thomas and Eura (McReaken) Dixon. Though Betty lost her father at a young age, her admiration and adoration of him never waned, and the stories of her daddy left generations to come wishing they could know this great man. Many of us did have the privilege of knowing her mother, so we understood well the fierce love and devotion Betty had for her mother and the tender way she cared for her in her mother’s later years. Along with her faith in Jesus Christ her Lord, Betty’s lifelong dedication to her family was one of her greatest legacies. Betty and her now-deceased first husband, Edwin D. Parks, were blessed with three children, Scott D. (Diane) Parks, who preceded her in death; Vicki (Bob) Beckner Jr. of Minier; and Bonnie (Mike) Watkins of Cuba. Betty was the adored Meemaw of five grandchildren, all of whom survive: Shannon (Elton) Beckner of Columbia, Missouri; Jessica (Tim) Norris of O’Fallon, Missouri; Erik (Jackie) Beckner of Bloomington; Jason (Rachel) Parks of New Berlin; and Justin Parks of Springfield. Her grandchildren grew up with the example of her lived story writ large for them: a woman bold enough to decline toxicity and strike out on her own in a world that did not favor such endeavors for women; a happy, hard-working, single lady devoted to her banking career and fully enjoying life; a strong woman in an impeccably neat, petite package who could do so many hard things and survive rough spots always with her kind nature and wonderful sense of humor intact. In 1980, Betty fell for and married Paul L. Hurst, who recently preceded her in death after forty years of marriage. One of the highlights of their later years was becoming great-grandparents to Ethan and Emerson Boone, Tyler and Carter Norris, Finnegan and McKenzie Beckner, and Jackson, Addison, Ava and Ella Parks, all of whom survive. Many Canton folks knew Betty as the friendly, smiling teller at the National Bank of Canton, where she brightened many days until her retirement in 1992. Betty took her civic responsibilities equally seriously and was a generous donor of time and talent to her church and community. She particularly enjoyed her twenty years of volunteering at the Graham Hospital Gift Shop in Canton, where she loved interacting with the community, and her twenty years of volunteering at Christian Service Program, where many clients became friends. Betty was active with the Women’s Ministries at Canton Assembly of God and was a longtime member of Faith Christian Family Church of Rushville. Her charitable giving was generous and effortless, and she stood ever ready to help those in need. Betty was a wonderful and faithful letter writer and phone caller who nurtured relationships with far-flung loved ones, distant relatives, and high school chums for over eight decades. One of the delights of her life, at every stage, were “visits,” where neighbors, friends, and other loved ones would drop by for her charming conversation and comfortable companionship, which she reliably served with iced tea and dessert. No recounting of Betty’s life would be complete without an honorable mention of her formidable cleaning power. Those left behind will forever aspire to match the intense cleanliness of every inch of her home. When she wasn’t cleaning, Betty took great pleasure in antiquing, gardening, handcrafting, thumbing through magazines, decorating her home, and, most of all, doting on her beloved dogs. Betty was a woman who could make everything beautiful. It was second nature to her to take the simplest object and make it lovely, and it was her habit to leave a trail of beauty, whether through her kindness or her creative craftiness, wherever she went. She was gifted in the needle arts and was particularly renowned for her beautiful quilts and fine embroidery work. She found peace and satisfaction in employing her esteemed sewing and handcrafting talents to the benefit of church bazaars, friends, and neighbors. It was rare to be at Betty’s house without the aromas of her much-loved cooking and baking tempting you in the background, but her top-notch hostess skills will be missed even more. Many generations will fondly recall the cozy comfort of holidays at Meemaw’s house, where her interior design skills, eye for every detail, and love of planning made her home so pleasant and welcoming and where her adorable laugh permeated the background and reminded everyone to be joyful and find delight in the company of loved ones. Betty was a true treasure and leaves a roadmap of a life well-lived. She will be missed tremendously, and her memory will be a blessing to all who knew her Public Graveside services to honor Betty will be held at Greenwood Cemetery in Canton on, Friday September 3 at 2:00 p.m. with Pastor Monroe Bailey officiating. There will be no public visitation. In lieu of flowers, those who wish to honor her memory may make memorial contributions to St. Jude’s Children Hospital or the Humane Society of Fulton County. Betty’s family would like to express our sincerest love and thanks to her second family at Red Oak Estates, and her Hospice Caregivers., where she resided the last two years. Their love and care for “Ms. Betty” will be forever appreciated. May God Bless them all richly. To leave online condolences please visit

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