Betty Gifford

December 14, 1939 – April 19, 2022

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Betty Potts Gifford of Booneville, Mississippi passed away on April 19, 2022, at the age of 82 years. She was the beloved wife of the late Eugene Burton Gifford, Jr.

Betty Potts was born in Union County on December 14, 1939, to Milburn and Virgie Mae Morris Potts. During her childhood, she helped her parents tend to a farm and dairy cattle. She enjoyed spending time playing church with her cousins, especially Annette Long Brownlee, whom she regarded as a sister. An avid pianist from an early age, Betty served as pianist for gospel quartets in the Union County area. She attended Macedonia High School and graduated in 1957. An active member of her community and well-loved by her peers, she was crowned Miss Macedonia and Miss Pinedale as well as the Dairy Queen of New Albany. During high school, Betty served the Macedonia School FBLA as Miss FBLA.

After high school, Betty attended Blue Mountain College to study business education. During her time at Blue Mountain, Betty served as a member of the Eunomian Society and president of the Inter-Faith Club. During college, she worked full-time in the university library where she enjoyed getting to know many of her peers. During her junior year, Betty was crowned May Queen at Blue Mountain’s annual May Day event.

After graduation, Betty began a career as a business education teacher at Macedonia High School. Later, Betty worked for the American Seating Company as an accountant. She helped hundreds of people in the community file their taxes over the years.

Betty met the love of her life on a blind date at the Catfish Hotel. The two became inseparable and were married December 23, 1960 at Friendship Methodist Church. After marrying, Eugene built a house for Betty in the Thrasher community. Throughout their marriage, they attended Gaston Baptist Church.

In 1963, Betty and Gene welcomed their eldest daughter, Sharon Dianne. Three years later, they welcomed their second daughter, Tracey Lynn. In 1974, Gene and Betty’s set of “Gifford girls” was complete with the birth of their third daughter, Ginger Gayle. Betty enjoyed rearing their three daughters in their Thrasher home and treasured the friendship of neighbors Billy and Edith McCoy.

Betty was an active member of the Gaston Baptist Church, and served as a pianist, Acteen leader, and helped with Vacation Bible School. Betty was a devoted member of the local Home Extension Club. During her daughters’ teenage years, Betty and Gene welcomed an exchange student from Japan, Takako Arakawa, into their home for a year. Betty and Gene enjoyed cheering their daughters on as they participated in the Thrasher High School band, cheer and basketball teams, science fairs, and beauty pageants. Gene and Betty enjoyed attending Ole Miss sporting events with their daughters and loved ones. Later in her years, Betty was a devoted caregiver to her ten grandchildren and one great-grandchild, her mother, and her husband.

She knew how to make magic out of the ordinary, a trait that she passed along to all three of her girls. Her nieces and nephews speak fondly about her ability to make a picnic lunch to the likes of Mary Poppins and her grandchildren recall fond memories of helping prepare meals in her kitchen, oftentimes with fresh vegetables from her garden. She loved interior design and learning about new flowers. Some of her happiest memories were spent tending to her expansive garden and entertaining those she loved over a freshly cooked meal in her home.

Those closest to Betty appreciate her generous spirit, kind nature, willingness to help, sunny disposition, and how she embodied the fruits of the spirit.

Betty is survived by her children Sharon Gifford Cheek (Jeff) of Booneville, Tracey Gifford Smith (Tim) of Corinth, and Ginger Gifford Kizer (Brandon) of Oxford. She was the loving grandmother of Lauren Cheek Watts (Jordan), Megan Grace Carpenter, Gracie Cheek Pratt (Brooks), Savannah Grace Smith, Annalyn Faith Carpenter, Houston Gifford Cheek, Victoria Smith Fox (Tucker), Olivia Hope Carpenter, Nyles Gifford Smith, Lillian Faye Kizer, and great-grandmother of Vivian Grace Pratt.

Besides her loving husband Eugene Gifford, Betty was predeceased by her parents Milburn and Virgie Mae Potts.

Family and friends are invited to pay their respects between 11:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at Gaston Baptist Church (1908 Gaston Road; Booneville, MS 38829).

A celebration of life will be held at 2:00 P.M., on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at Gaston Baptist Church (1908 Gaston Road; Booneville, MS 38829). Brother Ben Parman will officiate the service and her eulogy will be presented by Kim Eubank. Sam McCoy, Kevin Eubank, Houston Cheek, Brooks Pratt, Jordan Watts, and Tucker Fox will serve as pallbearers. Jeff Cheek, Tim Smith, Brandon Kizer, Nyles Smith, and Justin Dial will serve as honorary pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Gaston Baptist Church and Blue Mountain College.

Condolences may be left at

Past Services

April 23, 2022


April 23, 2022

A Celebration of Life

April 23, 2022


1 thought on “Betty Gifford”

  1. Dear Gifford family, one of the saddest things someone can experience is the death of a loved one. Did you know the Bible compares death to sleep? (Psalms 13:3) Just as a person who is asleep is unaware of what is happening around him, the dead are not conscious of anything. There is a promise of hope in the Bible. Our loving God has promised to awaken the dead, as if from sleep, and give them life again. Acts 24:15 says, “There is going to be a resurrection.” The bible offers comfort for those who are grieving and I hope this brings you comfort as well.


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