On Sunday, October 10, 2021, Betty June Branscom Tennyson passed peacefully in her sleep. She was born on January 19, at home in Middlesboro, Kentucky. Betty was the daughter of Marion and Anna Mae Branscom and she was the youngest and last surviving of her nine siblings.
Betty was the epitome of class and grace, never revealing her true age. She spent the majority of her working years as a business owner and beautician. She owned multiple businesses throughout her life, including Ruffles and Beaux Children’s Store and Milady’s Hair Fashions. She was saved at an early age and grew up attending Old Yellow Creek Baptist Church. For decades, she served faithfully beside her husband at Carr’s Chapel Baptist Church as a Sunday School teacher, in addition to Walnut Hill Baptist Church, Garmeda Mission and Bryson Mission. She was a current member of Trinity Baptist Church and although her health prevented her from attending, she was a fierce prayer warrior.
She was fortunate to live a long and full life, being treasured by those who knew her. Although she had only one child, her daughter Debbie, she was blessed to be the matriarch of a large family. She was known affectionately as “Nena” by her three grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, one great-great granddaughter, and even the occasional stranger. She had a special relationship with her son-in-law, John, and always looked forward to his daily phone calls.
Her passing is bittersweet, as she had longed to be reunited with the love of her life, Rev. R.C. Tennyson since his passing in 2002. They were married for 52 years, but she loved him until her very last breath. They had a marriage that others strived for, clinging to each other during the most difficult times and always taking care of each other. There was a long-standing joke that she didn’t know how to pump gas, as her husband made sure she never had the opportunity to do it herself. She faced many health issues throughout her life, being a diabetic since young adulthood and most notably surviving breast cancer twice.
Left behind to cherish her memory are her daughter and son-in-law, Debbie (John) Gidens of Harrogate, grandchildren, Jonathan (Amanda) Gidens of Harrogate, Leah Jones of Middlesboro, and Loren (Jeff) Allen of Middlesboro, along with her great-grandchildren, Joseph Gidens, Josh Gidens, Ava Lambert, Bailey Allen, Riley Allen, Bella Gidens, Max Allen, Adylin Jones, and Ryker White as well as a great-great-granddaughter, Kayden Gidens and special friend Carolyn Gulley.
In addition to her husband, Rev. R.C. Tennyson, she is preceded in death by her parents, Marion and Anna Mae Branscom, brothers Ovid Branscom and Dean Branscom, sisters Mildred Romeo, Lois Walker, Louise Teresi, Vonetta Thacker, Dessie Lynch, Ruby Kraft, and Lorene Hensley, as well as lifelong friend, Thelma Price.
The family will receive friends from 5:00-7:00 pm on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at Old Yellow Creek Baptist Church. Funeral services will follow at 7:00 pm with Rev. Keith Medley and Rev. Jesse Buell presiding. Music will be provided by Danny Graves.
A private graveside service will be held on Thursday, October 14, 2021 at 11:00 am, at Green Hills Memorial Gardens.
Pallbearers will be Jeff Allen, John (aka Don) Trosper, Joseph Gidens, Josh Gidens, Bailey Allen, Riley Allen, Danny Walker and John Howard. Honorary pallbearers include John Gidens, Jonathan Gidens, Max Allen, Ronnie Branscom and Blake Branscom.
Online condolences and guestbook are available at www.cawoodfh.com.
Cawood Funeral Home, Middlesboro, is in charge of all arrangements. For the health and well-being of our staff and the families we serve, we request that social distancing be observed and everyone in attendance wear a mask.
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