Another bright and shinning star has taken its place in the heavens. Betsy Ann Hughes Eichelberger took wings, Monday, February 5, 2018 in the comfort of her home with some of her children and her caregiver, Wendy Harris, and joined her family that traveled on 'up yonder' before her to be with her Lord: Her husband, William James Eichelberger, Her children: Claudell weaver, Samuel, Joseph, Isacc and Annie Lee, Her grandchildren, Charles Clifton, Jr., Charlotte Rene Jones, Her mother and father, Nelson and Mary Elizabeth Knowles Hughes, Her sisters: Katie, willie Bell, Estelle, Nannie, Mary Francis, Ida Bea, Inez, Bob and Talmadge Hughes. This bright and shinning star was born October 22, 1918 to Nelson and Mary Elizabeth 'Kytie' Knowles Hughes. she completed the 11th grade at Winston County Training School. She had one daughter, Claudell by Tom Harris and later married William James Eichelberger, a widower, in December 1941. she became the step-mother to 10 children: Donia, Walter, Marcella, Lorenzo, Aurelia, Fred, Ollie, Joy, Ina Lee and Ruth. Twelve children were born to the union of William James and Betsy Ann: Elmetra Louise Mattie Bell, Samuel Delano, Janice, Joseph Abner, Isaac, Barbara Faye, Gwendolyn, Paul Carmel, Clifford, Clifton and Annie Lee. All of her children were baptized at Mt. Sinai M. B. Church and were very active in Sunday School, Sunday Worship services, Baptist Training Union (BTU), Vacation Bible School and the Annual Revival when they would sit on the Mourning Bench until they joined the church. Most of them were baptized in Mr. Leroy Edwards' or Mr. Fed Macon's pond. She always wanted to be a singer and eventually was nicknamed from a singer known as “The Black Patti "who was a 19th century African American soprano Malilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones in reference to Italian opera singer Adelina Patti. While attending school, Besty Ann loved to read, play basketball, and learning the art of sewing and cooking. Later in life, she enjoyed sitting in her rocking chair, reading the Bible, talking on the phone and watching soap operas. Prior to televisions and telephones, she enjoyed reading romance novels and True Romance Magazines. Her older daughters would sneak and read them also. Mr. Eichelberger passed from a stroke in December 1959, several months after their twins, Clifford, and Clifton, were 1 year old. Betsy Ann worked for many years as a domestic servant after the death of her husband. She also worked for Spartus Clock Factory from 1969 until retiring in 1979. She continued to be a member of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church where she was very active and involved in community service and political action until her health failed her in 2013. Some of her volunteer service included: Winston County Voters and Education League since 1966, National association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the former Mt. Sinai Burial Club, Friends of Dean Park, Inc., Winston County extension Office including the 4H-Club, the Winston County Triad and she spoke to the legislators regularly regarding bills that they were considering via American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). She was the 211th person to register to vote during the voter re-registration of 1970 that enforced the Voting Rights Act of 1965. She was a member of the Order of the eastern Star. Since Betsy Ann was the last of her generation of siblings, she became the surrogate mother to her nieces and nephews who affectionately called her Aunt Patti. She also played this role with many of the community residents who had lost their parents earlier in life. Betsy Ann leaves to cherish her memories: (3) sons, Paul C. Eichelberger (Rita), Clifford (Nancy) Eichelberger and Clifton Eichelberger (Georgia) of Baton Rouge, LA; (5) daughters, Elmetra Patterson- Littleton (Eddie) of Louisville, MS, Mattie Davis (Melvin) of Richmond, CA, Janice Hopkins (Tommy), Barbara Coleman, Gwendolyn and Lorenda Eichelberger, all of Louisville, MS. She leaves (20) grandchildren, (27) great grandchildren, (7) great great grandchildren; a surrogate daughter, Rev. Lorene Guyse, caregiver for 11 years Wendy Harris (Cornelius), special friend, Billy Shields.
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