Betty Sparks Thomason of Spindale, NC died peacefully on Sunday January 22 in Raleigh. She was born in Spartanburg, SC, on March 13, 1933, to Rev. James Jefferson and Margaret Cheves Sparks. She graduated from Parker High School in Greenville, SC in 1950, and received a B.A. in History from Furman University in 1955. In 1957 she married the Minister of Music at her father’s church, the late Malone W. Thomason, Jr., beginning 58 years of serving God together. In 1960 they moved to Spindale and served Spencer Baptist Church for 38 years, then Mt. Vernon Baptist Church for 11 years. Betty also taught kindergarten at Spencer and later at Trinity School.
Betty was dedicated to the ministry of her husband and supported him steadfastly in their work with children, youth, adults, and senior adults at their churches and throughout Rutherford County. She accompanied choirs, planned programs, and organized trips. She loved music in her own right, playing the piano from a young age, later learning how to play the organ, and singing in choirs. Betty was a loving mother and grandmother and was devoted to her family. She was a smart, witty conversationalist, well read, and had a very generous, open, warm spirit – truly a wise woman, and a pillar of strength and serenity. Betty loved to travel and lived an active life, enjoying line dancing, Silver Sneakers, and working in her garden. She had a green thumb, always had something blooming and she looked forward to seeing the birds outside her window each day. Often deflecting attention from herself, she always gave glory to God.
Betty Thomason is survived by son Marshall and wife Roberta Laughlin Thomason, daughter Caryl and husband Wayne Price, and grandsons Daniel, William and Steven Thomason and James and Thomas Price. She is also survived by her sister Margaret Spearman of Clemson, SC, her sister Elizabeth Gordon of Raleigh, NC, and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by brothers Joe and Jim.
Visitation will be on Friday February 10 from 4:00-6:00 at Crowe’s Mortuary, 118 Hwy 74A, Rutherfordton. A memorial service will be held on Saturday February 11 at 2:00 PM at Spencer Baptist Church, 187 N. Oak St., Spindale, NC 28160, followed by further visitation. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Spencer Baptist Church Memorial Garden.
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