Betty McDavid Pierson, age 96, passed away peacefully on Thursday evening, July 5th, 2018 at the Four Seasons Retirement Center, Columbus, IN. She was a long-time resident of the Berea community before moving to Indiana in 2004 to be closer to family. Betty was born on September 17, 1921 on Hudson Street, Greenville, to parents Ralph E and Ethel (Willson) Watkins. She is predeceased by her husband, Frank H Pierson; daughter, Anna Pierson Gooch; brother, Ralph E Watkins, Jr. and sister-in-law Clara Watkins (Newberry, SC).
Betty is survived by her son, Luther Rogers Pierson, of Columbus, IN (Linda); son-in-law, Stephen Gooch of Charlotte, NC; grandchildren, Christine Gooch Say (Mark), Catherine Gooch Brewer (Jonathan), Brian Pierson, Laura Pierson; great grandchildren, Aurora and Eric Say, and Knox and Piper Brewer; and nieces Martha Watkins Winchester and Beverly Watkins Mahon.
Services will be Friday, July 13th, 2p at Berea Friendship United Methodist Church on White Horse Road in Greenville. Interment will follow at the Coleman Cemetery, Travelers Rest. The family will receive friends from 6:30 to 8:00 pm Thursday evening, July 12th, at the Thomas McAfee Funeral Home Northwest Chapel and from noon until the time of service on Friday at the church. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the Berea Friendship UMC.
Betty’s mother died of tuberculosis when Betty was seven years old in 1928. She and brother “Gene” were raised by their grandparents, Felix and Harriet (Whitten Watkins) Boggs in Pendleton, SC, on their farm. Betty was a graduate of Pendleton High School and Lander College, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education in 1943. She was a member of the Red Cross during World War II.
After the war, Betty started her teaching career teaching second grade in Calhoun Falls, SC, and went on to teach fourth grade at Marietta-Slater. She met her husband Frank, of Cedar Mountain, NC, at Mrs. Crumley’s Boarding House in downtown Greenville, where she resided, and he took his meals.
Frank and Betty were married on Thanksgiving Day, 1949, and went on to settle in the Berea community on Sulphur Springs Road, where they lived for 35 years. Frank was an appliance repairman for Duke Power until his retirement. For many years, Betty was a substitute teacher at Berea Elementary, and later in her life she worked helping residents at Oakmont Nursing Home, which was next door to her home.
The Piersons were charter members of Berea Friendship UMC. Betty’s great passions were music and her church work. Friends and family were often treated to her talent of playing hymns on the piano “by ear.” She spent many years teaching 6th grade Sunday School and the Ruth Bible Class. Betty was a member of the Shalom Evening Circle and sang with the choir for many years. All of her life, Betty served the Lord and was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. She was a “southern lady” to the end, ready with a compliment, a smile, and a twinkle in her eye for every visitor.
Berea Friendship United Methodist Church
8001 White Horse Road, Greenville SC 29617