Service for Betty Isbell set for July 20

Betsy PickleObits

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at New Providence Presbyterian Church, 703 W. Broadway in Maryville, for Betty Isbell, a co-founder of Blount Memorial Hospice, who passed away June 26.


Born Betty Jean Wilkinson on Aug. 20, 1923, in Caruthersville, Mo., she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Southwestern at Memphis/Rhodes College in 1945. After college, she worked as a stewardess for Southern Airlines.

In Memphis, on Sept. 21, 1947, she married Homer Laughlin Isbell Jr., who earned his M.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, and after he finished his service as a captain and flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force they moved in 1950 to Maryville, where their four children were born.

In Maryville, she served as president of the Presbyterian Women’s Association, Junior Service League, PTA and Medical Auxiliary. She was a co-founder of both Blount Memorial Hospice and the Townsend Passion Play. She served as a Girl Scout troop leader for her three daughters, delivered Meals on Wheels and was a hospice volunteer.

A devoted member of New Providence, she was a deacon, teacher, Bible study/circle leader, Presbytery elder and choir member. She and her husband made medical mission trips to Algiers, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Navajo Reservation.

Mrs. Isbell survived her husband by almost 11 months. She leaves her son and three daughters and their spouses, nine grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

Gifts may be made to New Providence Presbyterian “Isbell Memorial” or to Blount Memorial Hospice. More information is available in her obituary.

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